1995-1997: PAYC's Foundational Years
In 1994, Pastor Kerry Richmond founded the Positive Attitude Youth Center. While in search for his life ministry, he felt inspired to serve the families and their children in Alamance County. Along with his wife, Eunice, in March, 1995, Richmond opened his first after-school program with 22 students in their care. The center was on the corner of North Mebane and Hawkins, the location of a former nightclub where a close friend of Richmond’s had been killed. For the next 8 months, this was PAYC’s first home. Howard Thaxton chaired the first Board of Directors.
In October 1995, PAYC moved into the Sellars Gunn Educational Center on Apple Street. They shared a space in the Sellars Gunn gym with another program. Still, the ministry doubled in size. In 1996, PAYC moved into the clubhouse of the Eastbrook Apartments where the Richmonds resided at the time. As the clubhouse could only hold about 20 students, PAYC expanded with more after-school programs in other apartment complexes including Autumn Lane, Beaumont, Tucker Street, and the Burlington Housing Authority. During this time they recruited their volunteer base.
1998-2003: Growing PAYC's Programs & Mission
In 1998, PAYC shared space in the Allied Church of Alamance County’s Homeless Shelter. There was more room and the after-school and summer programs continued to grow. In 2000, they moved once again to another former night club, the Hot Spot, located on North Church Street. This larger space gave PAYC enough room to expand more than ever before. From 2000 until 2003, PAYC averaged about 50 students in the after-school programs and about 60 participants in the summer club.
In 2003, PAYC moved to Glen Raven in a space that included access to a playground and an outdoor basketball court. They also added two passenger vans and a bus, which allowed PAYC to pick up students from 10 different ABSS schools for the after-school program. Soon, PAYC worked in coordination with other local agencies and organizations such as Teen Achievers, a new program for court-ordered juveniles and at-risk teenagers. Through this, Richmond and PAYC created an association with the law enforcement community that has seen Richmond play an important role in local criminal justice.
2004-Present: An Established Community and Center
Finally, in 2003, the Hayden Harman Foundation donated land on Graham-Hopedale Road to build a new PAYC facility. In March of 2005, PAYC had their ground-breaking ceremony. While still headquartered at Glen Raven during three years of construction PAYC raised enough funds for the grand opening celebration on October 1, 2008.
Now, with the PAYC Board, Positive Attitude has over 60 students in after school, 50 students in Summer Club, a 4-Star daycare with 40 students, Positive Day School (a K - 12 school) with 40 students, and a recreational program that serves over 70 students. PAYC also now has Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops. The facilities feature a gym, playground, indoor and outdoor basketball courts, a computer lab, classrooms, and even an outdoor walking trail that allows for exercise and personal contemplation.
PAYC is blessed to have been serving the community for over 28 years and anticipates a solid future as an educational and social anchor for Alamance County.