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James H. Faison Jr. Scholarship

The YEZ Scholarship program began in 2011 through a generous contribution from PPD for a tuition-based scholarship to Cape Fear Community College. The scholarship is available to YEZ residents who are either graduating high school seniors or adults wishing to return to school. In 2013, a YEZ Scholarship Committee was formed and the committee expanded the program to also provide scholarships to YEZ residents who attend four-year state universities in North Carolina. In June of 2015, the BRC awarded the first scholarship to a New Hanover High School graduate who was accepted to North Carolina A&T University.


A criterion for scholarship recipients is to give back to the youth in their community. They are asked to serve as role models to DC Virgo and New Hanover High students by coming back into these schools to talk to kids about their college experiences. As of January 2016, 3 students have been awarded the YEZ Scholarship, two of whom attend N.C. A&T and one recipient are at N.C. Central. In the fall of 2015, the BRC renamed this scholarship: The James H. Faison Jr. Scholarship to honor the late father of Voyage Board member, District Court Judge James H. Faison, III.


Mr. Faison was born and raised in the Northside of downtown Wilmington in the area that is now known as the YEZ. Throughout his life as an educator in NHC, Mr. Faison made many advancements for African American students in this community. One of Mr. Faison’s many accomplishments was that he became the first African American to serve as Director of Vocational Education in NHC. Mr. Faison’s last teaching job before his retirement was at D.C. Virgo Middle School, now the D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy.

VOYAGE Summer Employment Program

The Summer Employment Program is an 8-week summer jobs program that provides in-depth workforce development for 14-19-year-old students facing barriers to employment through individualized job skills training, financial literacy classes, career readiness certification, ongoing mentoring, and paid work experiences. The 2023 program will begin on June 12, 2023, with the Jobs Skills Bootcamp.

  • Jobs Skills Bootcamp- Tuesday – Thursday from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm- is a three-day-long orientation provided by StepUp Wilmington. The Job Skills Bootcamp starts the first week of summer vacation to provide participants with a comprehensive and in-depth job skills training to prepare youth for their 7 weeks of paid work experiences.


  • There are 7 weeks of paid work experience where participants are placed at over 15 partnering host sites. Participants will attend three-hour paid training sessions every Monday from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. Participants will work Tuesday – Thursday for a total of 18-24 hours per week.



  • Trained and qualified job coaches are assigned to groups of students to provide ongoing support while closely monitoring the progress of each participant at their worksite.


  • Weekly Monday sessions are held with all participants to provide ongoing educational workshops that include: targeted job-skills workshops, career exploration, health awareness, guest speakers, group mentoring, and financial literacy classes.


While Summer 2020 looked drastically different than our normal programming due to COVID-19, we were still able to offer plenty of opportunities for our more than 60 participants! In previous years, many participants have gone on to obtain internships, paid jobs, or built strong networking connections that enabled them to obtain employment with other worksites due to outstanding performances at their summer jobs.


Summer Employment Program Partners:


  • KMI (Kids Making It) - Voyage partners with KMI during this program to provide supervision and training and other support that will provide some of our participants with opportunities for work experiences in the areas of construction, building, HVAC, and other vocational trades.


  • StepUp Wilmington – This organization provides the Job Skills Bootcamp and other ongoing workforce development training sessions throughout the program

  • Brigade Boys and Girls Club 

  • Young Scientist Academy 

  • YWCA Cape Fear

  • City of Wilmington Parks and Rec

Worksite applications on rolling basis. 


Apply now:


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Community Outreach Advocate Model

The issue of youth violence in the Youth Enrichment Zone often stems from the longstanding, inter-generational cycle of poverty that is occurring in parts of downtown Wilmington. In terms of real and lasting development, Voyage has found that working only with the youth is not enough. To effect systemic change, we need to address the needs of our youth, their families, and the broader community.


The COA model uses a multi-generational wrap-around approach that follows the CDC’s Social-Ecological Model Framework to focus on our youth and families at the individual, relational, community, and societal levels. Using this model to serve our families, we are able to more effectively address the risk factors and build the protective factors needed to prevent violence and promote self-sufficiency. The long-term goal of the COA Model is to effectively identify the ways in which structural racism, poverty, and other social determinants of health disproportionately affect our families and implement effective practices and strategies that serve to break the longstanding cycle of intergenerational poverty in our community.

Interested in receiving case management services from Voyage? Download our Family Profile Survey and submit it to our office or one of our Community Outreach Advocates! 

Step 1: Intake and Family Profile Survey


The COA model begins by assessing the individual needs of families on a variety of topics including but not limited to:

  • Housing

  • Employment

  • Education

  • Family relationships

  • Justice system

  • Food security

  • Health practices

  • Income

This assessment allows the COAs to best understand the areas in which families could benefit from assistance and determines eligibility for being assigned to a COA caseload.


Step 2: Identifying family goals


The COA then works with the parents to identify goals for both the family unit as a whole, as well as all individuals in the household. It is important to Voyage that we do not define success for the family. Rather, we let the family define what success looks like to them and identify their goals accordingly.

Step 3. Prioritize goals


After identifying goals, it is critical that we prioritize goals and define the order in which the family should go about working on those goals to optimize chances for sustainable success. 


Step 4: COAs create an action plan for success


After prioritizing goals, the COAs create an action plan for the family including contact information for and descriptions of organizations that can provide services and resources that address their needs, as well as a timeline for when the families should be working towards goals.


Step 5: Navigation and follow up


After providing the action plan, the COA offers ongoing support through assisting the family in navigating the organizations (application process, setting up appointments, etc.). The COA continues to follow up multiple times per week to ensure the families feel supported and offer assistance in overcoming any obstacles they may encounter when working towards their goals. 

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The Community Outreach Advocate Model incorporates “wrap-around” services to eliminate the major barriers that families face in the successful development of self-sufficiency. Voyage feels these services are truly “wrap around”, as the youth are greatly impacted by the poverty reduction and self-sufficiency of the parents that make up the Y.E.Z. community. There are four factors that play into the development of self-sufficiency, identified by the Ascend at the Aspen Institute Report as Education, Economic Supports, Social Capital, and Health and Well-being. 

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