Giving Tuesday




We have a day for giving thanks.  #Giving Tuesday is a day to give back.    On Tuesday, November 27th, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.  We invite you to make a special donation in honor of one of the greatest givers in our community, Mrs. Joyce C. Jones who has been the Founder and Director of LIFE of NC and the STRIVE job training program these last 19 years.

Share us in celebrating the work of this one amazing individuals and the countless lives she has changed. We invite you to GIVE ON GIVING TUESDAY to her Legacy Fund and share your comments on Facebook about the impact Mrs. Jones has had.  #GivingTuesday.


STRIVE NC 19th Anniversary Gala to feature Robert Barker, Jr.


Robert Barker Jr. is the President of Bob Barker Company, America’s leading detention supplier, located in the Triangle Area of North Carolina.   Robert attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the London School of Economics, and graduated summa cum laude from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Economics with a dual concentration in Finance and Entrepreneurial Management.

Around 2010 God put a burden on Robert’s spirit to understand more deeply the greatest problems facing the industry his business served and to play a leadership role in solving those problems. In studying the corrections industry, he learned that correctional populations in the U.S. exploded from 300,000 in the early 1980’s to more than 2.3 million people incarcerated today, with hundreds of billions of dollars spent annually on our criminal justice system. Two out of three inmates that leave a correctional facility today will find themselves back inside a correctional facility within three years, often much sooner than that. This issue of ‘recidivism’ was one of the biggest drivers of this population and spending explosion.

With the help of his leadership team in 2010 Robert set out to recast the vision of the Bob Barker Company to articulate a greater purpose, a higher calling for the business. The company’s vision changed from “Bob Barker is the worldwide leader delivering innovative supplies and services to correctional and rehabilitation customers” to “Transforming criminal justice while honoring God in all that we do.”

At the same time that the company announced the new vision, we also created the Bob Barker Company Foundation, which the company began tithing to out of the net income of the business. With faithful giving and God’s blessing on the foundation investments, assets in the foundation have grown to over $11,000,000 today. The foundation has awarded over $2,000,000 in grants to organizations working to help the incarcerated prepare physically, spiritually, and emotionally for successful reentry into society and to stay out of prison for life. These foundation grantees have impacted more than 1,000,000 lives.  The foundation is the only Foundation in the Unites States, perhaps the world, that focuses exclusively on reducing recidivism.

Robert is an active member of the C12 Group, the largest network of Christian CEOs and owners building great businesses for a greater purpose. His participation in this peer advisory group has helped Robert discover and plan for areas that need improvement in his business and personal life, while being held accountable and encouraged to accomplish it in a God-honoring way.

Tickets are available at the STRIVE NC office at 600 W. Third St. (Historic Third Street School Building). Individual tickets are $50 each. Sponsorships at Presenting ($5,000), Platinum ($2,500), Gold ($1,000), Silver ($500) and Bronze ($350) levels are available.

Your donations help our graduates Prepare to Work and become Determined to Succeed! For more information, contact Rob Lee at (252) 752-9774 or register online at our GALA homepage.


STRIVE NC graduates 200th class, celebrates more than 200 participants’ success in workforce, life skills training program

The 200th class to complete the nationally recognized STRIVE job readiness and attitudinal training program offered by LIFE of NC celebrated graduation, May 12, 2017. Since its founding locally in May 2000, STRIVE NC has served 2,097 graduates with innovative job and life skills training. Currently, LIFE of NC serves Greenville-Pitt County in eastern North Carolina at the Life Empowerment Center classroom facilities on the campus of Third Street Community Center. The “hardest to employ” individuals learn how to become productive members of society through gainful employment. Seventy-five percent of graduates are employed.


Success Stories

“After spending seven years inside NC Department of Corrections, over a quarter of my life, I was nervous about returning back to a now foreign society. I felt that my character had been properly refined and that I was mentally ready, but I also knew that in many other areas of life I was completely unprepared. I could not answer how I would obtain basic things for survival such as food, clothing and shelter and I knew that without these things recidivism was a very real possibility no matter how much I did not desire to return to my former way of life. The STRIVE program answered my prayers and systematically helped me with my reentry by giving me job training, providing me with basic necessities, assisting me with enrolling in college and also giving me invaluable encouragement and support during rough times. Thanks to all the time, energy, compassion, and effort by the staff. I am now gainfully employed working two jobs, pursuing a degree in computer information technology, involved in community activism and thoroughly enjoying life in general. The STRIVE program is a pillar of strength and support to many other people who are genuinely pursing to change their lives for the better and I am deeply appreciative and indebted to it for the radical change that it has assisted me in making in my life. Shout outs to Ms. Whittaker, Mr. Jeffrey T. Joyner and Ms. Joyce Jones who have all become like family and have put in so much effort so that I can be successful.”
-Brenton Grice



‘The Crisis of Minority Unemployment’

‪#‎STRIVE‬ is pleased that The New York Times published a letter to the editor by our CEO, Phil Weinberg. The letter, a response to the Times’ Feb. 21 editorial, “The Crisis of Minority Unemployment, ” notes that “the crisis of urban unemployment burns with greater intensity than ever” – but there are proven ways to combat it.

Read the letter, and let us know what you think.…/04/opinion/jobs-for-minorities.html

STRIVE NC Graduate Success Story: Ronda Barnes

Our very first LIFE of NC / STRIVE Video is here & we couldn’t be happier with the final cut!!!! Thank you so much to the Bob Barker Foundation, Alex & his entire team at Your Local Studio & to our SUPER STAR, Ronda Barnes!

We are so excited to share with our community Ronda’s amazing story about the impact the STRIVE NC program has had on her LIFE! She is a true inspiration to so very many!