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Children Programs in NC

Lydia's House Growing Children programs are designed to improve the academic, social, and recreational outcomes of low-income and at-risk youth.

Teens Leading Change

In 2014, the Teens Leading Change (TLC) Program model serviced over 100 households in the Aurora/Richland Township by empowering five teenage youth ages 14 – 18 to be their community’s agents of change through the build of a community garden. Teenagers built over 20 raised beds, planted, harvested and distributed over 200 lbs of healthy produce to a rural community in need of accessibility. In addition, the teens underwent a seven-week fully paid internship with training on agriculture entrepreneurship through the Rural Entrepreneurs for Action Learning (REAL) curriculum. Information gathered from the weekly three hour training provided youth with a practical understanding of the fundamental building blocks of rural economic development by utilizing local assets to spark economic growth. At the conclusion of the internship, the youth generated a business plan that not only served as the action plan for the garden, but a management tool of the roadside stand where healthy and affordable produce was sold.


This year, the first week of April, residents of the Richland Township lost their only grocery store within a 15 mile radius. The loss of this valuable institution which has been in existence for over 85 years is an example of the importance of economically empowering current and future generations with knowledge of personal financial management, workforce development skills, small business ownership, and entrepreneurship principles. Over 17 years ago, Eve Hemby, Project Director for Lydia’s House in North Carolina and the creator of the Teens Leading Change, Eve Hemby, was a former employee of the Lydia’s House’s Kids Kamp which empowered her in workforce development skills nearly 17 years ago. With her personal experience of Lydia House’s mission to grow children, strengthen families and transform neighborhoods, she expects to not only increase the impact of Teens Leading Change under the leadership of Lydia’s House, but create other programming models and options that address the financial and social needs of this rural community for both young and old. As Lydia House’s and their leadership continues to expand into North Carolina, the Richland Township will see that the best is truly still YET TO COME.

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