CMPD Partners in Grier Park After School Program
A Charlotte apartment complex is partnering with CMPD, giving kids a safe haven to learn and grow while also building a bond with the officers who serve and protect them.
CHARLOTTE, NC — Building trust between the community and the people who police them. One Charlotte apartment complex is partnering with CMPD, giving kids a safe haven to learn and grow while also building a bond with the officers who serve and protect them.
“This is what it’s all about for me,” says Tijua Robinson.
Robinson came to Grier Park as a student at Johnson C. Smith in 2008, and she stayed. As the Resident Services Coordinator for the Grier Park Apartments, she serves as a teacher, counselor, sibling and surrogate parent for kids ages 3-to-18, giving them a safe haven after school.
“This is just their time to enjoy each other, enjoy learning, enjoy figuring out who they are as individuals and just growing,” says Robinson.
“She teaches them things they need to know, and she does a lot of activities to keep them out of trouble,” says Grier Park resident Adesia Martin. “You know out here, in this neighborhood, there’s a lot of things that they can get into.”
The company that owns the apartments pays Robinson’s salary. Several community partners, including CMPD, provide support. It’s a chance to connect with these kids at a young age.
“It’s so important for us to communicate with them and see that we’re just like them,” says CMPD Officer John Frisk. “And we’re there to help them.”
“There’s so much going on in society, and I just think that it’s important for our youth to understand that police isn’t necessarily a threat for them,” says Robinson. “And that it’s okay for us to be united on one front.”
It’s all part of the time and dedication, with a focus on education and community, the lady the kids call “Miss T” is pouring into the youth of Grier Park.
“To see them grow and become successful young men and women, and leaders within their own communities, and walking within their own path is just a blessing for me, and amazing,” says Robinson. “And it pushes me. As much as I motivate them, reality is that they motivate me.”
Deasia Martin is heading into her senior year at Myers Park High School. She says “Miss T” has inspired her to got to college and study criminal justice; and one day become a private investigator.