Tova Hairston, TOP® facilitator, is a resident of New Bern and an adolescent advocate for the community. She graduated New Bern High School in the top 10 percent of her class to receive a full academic scholarship to Florida A&M University from which she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Political Science. Since graduation, Tova has worked with diverse adolescent populations in New Bern as the Student Coordinator for the Area Day Reporting Center, a local non-profit organization serving adjudicated adolescents and Craven County students during periods of short-term school suspensions. She revived the curriculum of the program to include interactive cultural enrichment and positive personal development activities that integrated families and caregivers in a dynamic learning environment.
Tova is recognized throughout Craven County for successfully writing a grant for an after school program funded by the US Department of Education through the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Serving over 160 students in grades 2-12 in seven sites through the county, this program focused on academic reinforcement, physical wellness and community service as its core components. As the Program Coordinator, Tova supervised 20 employees, oversaw daily program operation, and established partnerships with several community groups in an effort to provide program components that directly resulted in increased adolescent participation. In February 2012, Tova joined the TOP® team and created many partnerships in the community to support TOP® and the youth it serves.