On March 30, 2017, Javaris Benson suffered a fatal sudden cardiac arrest while playing a game of basketball with a group of students & friends on the campus of Chowan University. Though Javaris, better known as Vari, had presented with symptoms at a local medical center, his complaints were dismissed and met with accusations and discrimination.
Prior to his death, Vari & his younger brother, Jacory, had been working to create a program that would assist youth reach their educational goals. This was motivated by the fact that Jacory was diagnosed with a learning disability and though his family was able to successfully advocate for him and provide the support he needed to make his dreams of becoming an honor student & collegiate athlete a reality, they understood that there were many others who did not have the same support. Thus the NOLA Network was formed.
Understanding the need for self & familial advocacy, overall awareness, & having experienced the need for equity within these systems, Lekesha & Jacory went on to found the NOLA Network in honor in Vari's honor. They created an organization with the goal of saving & enriching lives by creating equity through education, advocacy, awareness, and forming connection. The network, comprised of individuals and organizations, works to ensure that every child and family has the same access to information, services, & support; so that no other life will be affected by the lack of equity within those areas.
Our Mission, Vision, & Goals.
To create equitable solutions within healthcare and education, so that every individual has
Our goals are to improve, empower, & prevent.
We will improve South Carolina's educational and health outcomes; as well as increase housing stability for all families and work towards improving these outcomes throughout our nation.
We will empower each family by connecting them with community services that will support their educational and healthcare needs, providing them tools & information for self-advocacy & assist with providing awareness & information so that they have the knowledge & tools to take their education & health into their own hands.
We will prevent disparities by providing resources to child and family serving agencies that ensures that culturally responsive care is given, to address and inform so that implicit bias does not affect the quality of care or education received, and that all families & children have the same access, regardless of race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender, or any other disparity that has attributed to being underserved.
Locally-Our vision is a South Carolina where no other life is affected by lack of education, awareness, or access to services; thereby, becoming a state that is known for excellence in academics and health outcomes for all its citizens.
Nationally & Globally-Our vision is spread awareness so that all children and families are provided with the same educational & health resources, services, & level of care; thereby eliminating disparities that affect underserved & disenfranchised populations, creating a more equitable system for which all individuals have the same opportunities to thrive.
Our Values & Commitments.
The NOLA Network Values Diversity, Innovation, & Integrity; therefore these are our commitments...
We understand the importance of representation and respect; therefore we honor and embrace the diverse cultures, skills, experiences, and perceptions of our community, staff, individuals, and families which we serve. We are committed to work with organizations & individuals who also honor diversity will provide training & education to positively influence their understanding of this & create equitable solutions for all.
Our commitment to impact is best served by embracing evidence based programs, as well as implementation of new ideas and services to create measurable, positive change within South Carolina & beyond.
We are committed to creating a culture of honesty and transparency in our organizations decision making, programming, and financial practices.