WHO WE ARE
Think Smart Outreach Center, Inc. (TSOC) was envisioned in 2000 while Director Pamela Williams was a senior at Fayetteville State University where she majored in Criminal Justice. While in college, she volunteered at Fayetteville Urban Ministries Guided Growth Program (Program for at-risk youth), Cumberland Teen Court and Dispute and Resolution Center, and Harnett County Community Service Program. She saw too many young people getting criminal records and wanted to help. Pamela always had a passion for young people and wanted to create a program that would provide them with an alternative. Although Pamela was working in Cumberland county, she wanted to create a program in her hometown of Harnett County.
Pamela began writing in her journal and created a plan for her youth center. During this process, Pamela decided she wanted her youth center to target Middle and High School students. At the time she began to call her youth center, "The Help Center" taken from the hit TV show The Jeffersons, one of Pamela's favorite shows.
After careful consideration, the name didn't stick. She asked her sister Nell McKoy for assistance and together they formed Think Smart Outreach Center. Pamela loved the name Think Smart because it represented power and influence.
On April 13, 2001, Pamela submitted her newly formed youth center Think Smart Outreach Center, Inc. to the Secretary of State. Think Smart was incorporated on April 24, 2001. After completing paperwork, Think Smart was still a mere vision and seemed out of reach. Once Pamela graduated college she accepted a job as a Middle School Teacher. In May of 2002, Nell reached out to Pamela about their program that was still in progress. With no set plans, Nell suggested starting a summer camp program. After thinking it over, the two pounded the pavement and began putting ideas in place. Their first order of business was securing a location. Their father was relocating his business and offered his office space. Now, one week before school was scheduled to end for the summer, Pamela and Nell finally had a location for their youth center, Think Smart Outreach Center. They began advertising in the community at local churches, grocery stores and libraries. Two days before their summer program was scheduled to start, they enrolled their first participants, Byron McMillian and Riyen Graham. One day before their summer camp program was scheduled to begin, they hired their first summer camp counselors, Ms. Krystal and Mr. B.
Think Smart received their first grant from the Juvenile Crime Commission from 2002-2005. Pam and Nell knew they would have to make sacrifices to build-up their company and opted out of a paycheck until their first federal grant was received in November of 2005. Over the years, Think Smart has built a team of wonderful staff members that are dedicated to their mission.
In the past seven years, Think Smart has had many locations (beside C&G Country Club, local churches, Dunn Housing Authority, Dunn Pal, and South Harnett Elementary School). In January of 2008, Think Smart broke ground on their new home, a place they could call their own. Think Smart began with five students and now serve 216 children.
Our overall goal is for our participants to graduate from high school and attend a post-secondary educational institution.
Our Services are made available to all Harnett County youth ages 5-18 and their families. We are pleased to announce 97% of our participating high school seniors graduated and enrolled in a post secondary institution.