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Palmer Prevention helps Robeson County kids

By Lauren Allen
Around the Town Editor

Palmer Prevention Inc., located on 208 Main St., lies in the heart of Pembroke. 

A private, non-profit agency, Palmer Prevention strives to prevent, delay and reduce the use of alcohol and other drugs among the youth and their families in Robeson County.

Zayide Lesane is the head of the Day Watch Program. With 10 kids in his program, Lesane works daily to help better the kid’s attitudes and guide them in the right direction for a brighter future.

Photo by Lauren Allen
Zayide Lesane is the head of the Day Watch Program.  With 10 kids in his program, Lesane works daily to help better the kid’s attitudes and guide them in the right direction for a brighter future.

Here to help

With only two drug prevention organizations in Pembroke, Palmer Prevention goes the extra mile in offering help to those who are suffering with addictions. 

“Help is free for those who willingly come to our door,” said Tom Norton, director, Palmer Prevention. 

However, those who are court mandated to go to Palmer Prevention are required to pay for their services.

Day Watch Program

According to Norton, between 100 and 200 kids are caught with drugs in the school system each year.

More than half of them end up at Palmer Prevention in a program called Day Watch.

Designed for kids who are on probation, suspension, or have been expelled from school, this program
focuses on  making smart decision, problem solving, alternative activities, behavior modification and educational assistance.


Zayide Lesane, a UNCP graduate, currently works as the head of the Day Watch Program.

Calling himself a high risk interventionist, Lesane works one on one with the kids who come into his program.

“Most of my kids involved in the program are here because of behavioral problems,” Lesane explains.

He is currently working with 10 kids.

How it works Starting his day at 9 a.m., Lesane travels all over Robeson County, picking up kids involved in the program, and bringing them back to Palmer Prevention. 

Once there, Lesane educates them on how to “keep their cool” when expressing anger.

He offers counseling on keeping control  of your anger and other behavior oriented material, as well as substance abuse counseling. Lesane has been working at Palmer Prevention for three years.

He says his favorite part of running the Day Watch program is interacting with the youth and learning how they think.

YO Records

Another activity that many members of Palmer Prevention Inc. enjoy is the new recording studio.

Youth Opportunity Records, also known as YO Records, is a program designed to help young people promote their talent and give them an opportunity to express themselves.

The participants are given classes on the music business, promotion, songwriting.

Then they then given a chance to produce their own original CD.

Palmer Prevention doesn’t just open their recording studio doors for those who are involved in the programs.

Anyone who is a card-holding Lumbee can use the studio free of charge.

‘Spirits of the Lumbee’  Enormous amounts of talent have poured through Palmer Prevention and into the recording studio, ending with amazing results.

Prime example, ‘Spirits of the Lumbee,’ a CD that Palmer Prevention played a big part in producing.

The CD includes local talent groups, such as New Reflections and The Rock Church Youth Group and offers a variety of Lumbee native songs as well as some independently written country songs. 

Meet the makers Chris Locklear, the studio engineer, helped produce the CD along side Norton, who wrote two of the songs performed on the CD. 

To learn more about ‘Spirits of the Lumbee’  call 910-522-0421.

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke The print edition of The Pine Needle
is published 14 times a year
during the fall and spring semesters.

Updated: Friday, April 7, 2006
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