Photo Gallery | Ground Breaking at Johnson C. Smith University
Charlotte, NC, October 12, 2011 — Johnson C. Smith University held a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, to kick off the renovation of the George E. Davis House, 301 Campus Street.
The historical landmark, located a block from the main campus, will undergo a complete renovation to serve as the headquarters for the Foster Village Network Center, an initiative designed specifically to support the unique needs and challenges of emancipated foster care youth who desire higher education. The Foster Village Network Center is the vision of JCSU President Ronald L. Carter. The holistic program provides guidance and support to help teens who have aged out of foster care navigate through the educational system and into college.
“We must pay attention to this sector of our youth,” said Dr. Carter, a former foster father of four students. “Access to higher education is essential for these students to reach their full potential and become productive members in our society. If we don’t provide them with the information on networking services, they’re not going to make it through the pipeline.”
The George E. Davis House was built in 1895 by Mr. Davis, the first black professor of Biddle University, now Johnson C. Smith University.
Foster Village Network Center
Like many young adults, youth in foster care recognize the importance of a college degree to achieve productive and successful lives. Yet, the hurdles can be seemingly unattainable. Johnson C. Smith University has developed a foster care initiative designed specifically to support the unique needs and challenges of emancipated foster care youth who desire higher education.
Unlike programs in other colleges and universities, the Foster Village Network Center offers a holistic strategy that addresses the needs of the students during high school and college years at JCSU, as well as after graduation. The comprehensive program enlists the support of state and community-based partner organizations with a focus on funding, easing the transition from foster care to independent living, providing a supportive surrogate family for success during college and propelling young minds toward successful, productive lives in their communities.
George E. Davis House
Located a block away from Johnson C. Smith University, stands the former home of Dr. George E. Davis. Davis, a professor, dean, advocate for education and in the historical ranks of Charlotte’s leading black citizens, left a legacy of unparalleled achievement in raising funds for black education in the state of North Carolina.
Born in Wilmington, North Carolina, on March 24, 1863, Davis graduated from Biddle University, now known as Johnson C. Smith University. The first black professor at JCSU, Dr. Davis taught for thirty-five years in the fields of mathematics, natural sciences, and sociology, and became Dean of the Faculty in 1905. In 1921, Dr. Davis retired from the university to join the North Carolina State Department of Education on a mission to solicit funds for building schools for the education of black citizens.
Now the Davis home, with its wealth of historical relevance in education, will be the future home of the Foster Care Initiative – where a new legacy of continuing education will begin for emancipated youth in the foster care system.