A first-of-its-kind initiative headed by the University will aim to address the increasing trend of adolescent violence in a rural county of North Carolina.
UNC researchers received a federal grant of $6.5 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to plan and carry out violence prevention activities.
The grant will also set up the nation’s first rurally focused youth violence prevention center, as well as North Carolina’s first center committed to preventing youth violence.
The five-year project will focus on Robeson County, whose economic downturn has led to a high level of youth violence.
“Robeson is one of the largest counties in North Carolina, and also the poorest,” said Connie Oxendine, the services program administrator for the county’s social services department. “We don’t have a lot of resources for our youth, particularly in the areas of substance abuse and domestic violence.”