A PLACE FOR HEALING, A REFUGE FOR COMPASSION, AND A HEART OF LOVE
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IN LOVING MEMORY OF JOYCE B. WALKER
SEPTEMBER 24, 1957-NOVEMBER 17, 1994
Vontina McGrant, Founder, birthed the vision of 3Rive through her own personal experiences of having to internalize her mother dying of AIDS, while still attempting to maintain the life of a child.
Vontina witnessed firsthand the effects of growing up with a parent who had been diagnosed with the AIDS virus. Her mother was diagnosed with HIV in 1983 during a time when there was very little known about the disease. Medical treatments were not as advanced as they are today and there was a very short life expectancy once a person was diagnosed with AIDS. This did not leave much hope for one who suffered from the disease.
Vontina found it very difficult to explain or share her mother’s illness with her peers. This situation became very complicated for her as a child and led to her feeling isolated and burdened with shame. The painful reality that many could not and would never understand became a devastating experience for Vontina.
Pulling from her inner strength Vontina began to search for help through positive outlets to increase healthy behaviors and reduce vulnerability. By joining several clubs in school, participating in numerous church activities and volunteering with various non-profit organizations Vontina was able to push through the pain and build a positive support system. Remaining active and involved in the community afforded Vontina the opportunity to feel hope again and briefly relish in the moment of her childhood.
Vontina’s mother eventually died in November of 1994 leaving a tremendous void in her life. Just as in her childhood, Vontina carried the sorrow, but this time from her mother’s death. After many years of carrying the shame of her mother's painful demise Vontina decided to transform her pain into something positive. She became a model to show how one could Rise and 3Rive from a painful experience and create a meaningful outlet that could help someone experiencing the same challenges she once faced. 3Rive is the creation that was birthed and has been a blessing to all who have ever been involved. 3Rive is a program that provides support to all young girls that encounter times of despair through this same situation. Vontina wants all to know you will never be down for long, you will soon Rise and 3Rive.
Vontina is currently the Owner and Lead Administrator of Knee-High Children’s Learning Center where she not only has an academic focus, but a social and emotional focus for students who may have or may be experiencing tragedy. In addition, Vontina carves out time to give back to the community by serving as a member of The National Coalition of 100 Black Women Queen City Metropolitan Chapter where she has served on several committees, Gaston Community Action Board of Directors member , Chair of
Carolinas CARE Partnership Board of Directors , School Readiness Advisory Committee, and The Arc of Gaston County just to name a few. She is also a long standing member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) where she has served as the regional representative in past years.