Investing in People. Preparing for Future Jobs.
We believe in the value of education as a means to personal fulfillment and community vitality. Our goal is to empower today’s workforce by creating pathways to and through postsecondary education for underrepresented students. We are committed to helping future students of all backgrounds attain the marketable skills and training needed to gain meaningful employment, which we hope will result in a sustainable shift in North Carolina.
Our Operating Principles
Inspired by the state of North Carolina’s needs and the Belk family’s history of helping neighbors, valuing family and deeply caring for the community, the John M. Belk endowment conducts operations in accordance with several key principles:
- Closing Achievement Gaps: Increasing access to postsecondary education can bolster educational and economic success. We will focus our resources to eliminate barriers for students who are underrepresented on the pathways to success.
- Listening: Context matters. There is no “one size fits all” solution for postsecondary completion. Success in North Carolina’s urban communities is different than success in our rural communities. We pledge to listen intently to statewide experts, local leaders, nonprofit organizations and individuals who have found unique solutions for their communities.
- Engaging Together: We aim to create partnerships with key stakeholders who will invest time, intellect and resources with us to achieve our common goals.
- Collaborating Across Sectors: No one sector has all the tools to succeed. We want to forge collaborations with business, public and private education, funders and nonprofits that are committed to the success of all students.
- Encouraging Innovation: Education for the 21st century workforce requires new ideas. We value emerging strategies with strong potential for success and replication across the state.
- Learning and Changing: We are conscious of the limits of our knowledge. We will use data as a tool for understanding and constant improvement. We will strive to learn alongside our grantees and to change when our methods do not work.