First in Future: East Durham Children’s Initiative President & CEO David Reese

Summary: If you are talking to the smartest people in the state, you have to talk to David Reese. He’s figured out how to deliver a diverse group of services like arts education, afterschool programs, parent education and summer school with a limited budget to benefit and empower families. This week’s guest is the president and CEO of the East Durham Children’s Initiative. We talked about how do you help parents get more involved in their kid’s lives without getting in the way of their job as parents and how to work with partners to avoid duplication of services.

This installment of First in Future is part of a special TV series produced in collaboration with UNC-TV, and recorded in UNC-TV’s Legislative Studio in downtown Raleigh. Taped segments will air on the North Carolina Channel. Visit for specific air dates.

Excerpt:“We have always done it a certain way and guess what? We have always gotten the same results and the results aren’t what we want for the young people back in our zone, back in Durham, back in North Carolina.”

Book recommendations: The Difference by Scott Page and Whatever it Takes by Paul Tough.  

What key issues should we be working on within the next couple of years to make North Carolina a better place? How we are educating our children and as we begin to start thinking more and more about technical training, there is this huge question and debate, are we advocating for four-year degrees or our we advocating for technical training. Where does that fit in the success of children long term?

What do we need to focus on to be ready for the next 20 years? “Creating communities that afford and allow for all the access that out best communities allow for.”

Next great North Carolinian to watch? There are so many, I’ll have to pass.

Listen to the podcast: