Alliance for Children and Youth Gaston CountyIn 1990, the Gaston County United Way approached four of their existing agencies that served youth in various capacities. These four agencies were:

  • Gaston County Children’s Council
  • Horizon Youth Services
  • Adolescent Health Council
  • Gaston Families for Drug – Free Youth
All of these agencies worked together in a collaborative setting through grants and shared programs. The United Way requested these four groups merge to reduce overhead and to streamline services.
During 1991, all four Boards met under the guidance of the United Way to merge the agencies and pledged to fully fund the administrative costs of this new agency into the future. In 1992, the Alliance for Children & Youth, Inc was formed and Priscilla “Brownie” Smyre was named Executive Director.

Communities In Schools


For more than 30 years, Communities In Schools has been helping students achieve in
school, graduate and go on to bright futures.

The story of Communities In Schools began in the 1970s, when Founder Bill Milliken, then
a youth advocate in New York City, came up with the idea of bringing community
resources inside a public school building – where they are accessible,
coordinated and accountable.

In the span of a little more than 30 years, Communities In Schools has become the
nation’s leading dropout prevention organization.  They have a unique
model that positions a coordinator inside schools to assess needs and deliver
necessary resources that remove barriers to success.

Their mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to
stay in school and achieve in life.

Their network is comprised of nearly 5,000 passionate professionals in 25 states and
the District of Columbia.  They serve the most vulnerable students in the
most dropout-prone school districts, nearly 1.3 million young people in more
than 3,400 schools.