Our Story

During the Great Depression, when the number of building permits in the county plummeted, when residents in nearby counties were starving, the African-American community understood the importance of education. Led by teacher Ada Jenkins, the community came together to raise funds for a school. The school opened for the 1937-1938 school year as the Davidson Colored School. After Jenkins’ death, it was renamed the Ada Jenkins School and served as the educational center for black students until integration in 1966.

From 1967 until the early 1990s, the building served as a daycare, a food co-op, a dance studio, and an after-school program.  Recognizing the changing needs of the community, volunteers renovated the building and established The Ada Jenkins Families and Careers Development Center in April of 1994.

The Ada Jenkins Center continues to promote the importance of education and equal opportunity for all citizens. Today, we are a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization helping those in poverty break the cycle and gain economic independence. The Center has become a resource hub for North Mecklenburg and South Iredell Counties and a well-respected model for community centers in the region.

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