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Central to Our Ability to Achieve Our Mission

Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld, PhD

Senior Associate Dean
UNC College of
Social Sciences and Global Programs
Professor of Anthropology

Ms. Neka Alston joined the leadership of UNC's College of Arts & Science's Social Science division, and within a year, she has become central to our ability to achieve our mission.  She is at work when we arrive in the morning and helps us all meet our most important prioroites throughout the day.  When a difficult project runs into trouble, Ms. Alston has the courage to step in.  She tackles challenges and helps us to make our own, best contributions.  Her extraordinary service to the university sets a standard for professionalism, vision, and care for colleagues.

Strong Role Model of the Highest Integrity

Colonel Christopher Williamson

SC Highway Patrol

Williamson Youth Services Foundation


The world is changing at a rapid pace and the promise of a better life for the poor and disadvantaged is ever - present.  But the belief that change is attainable is not enough to achieve it.  Answering this higher call requires an inner conviction, action plans, and resolute commitment.  The type of commitment that I observed in Jon Alston at an early age

when he assisted with my community youth programs some 20 years ago.  He has alway been a thoughtful communicator, a standard bearer, and a strong role model of the highest integrity.  I I am thrilled to see that after gaining vast experiences and making impressive accomplishgments in various disciplines, Jon is launching a focused effort "toward enlightenment" of underserved communities.  The need is great.  The challenge is great.  Jon Alston has accepted the challenge and the world will soon see that he has the gift of speaking to mountains and making them move.


Goya Spry

Published Author & Podcaster

The Alstons are innovators. They're passionate about excelling at everything they do as a family and through their individual efforts. They like being involved in communities to connect with people, especially children/youth. It's no surprise that they wrote a children's book. It's a beneficial resource for not only children and their parents, but also for educators and any agent type that represent children. Jonathan & Neka are reliable, knowledgeable and they’re wholeheartedly committed to their work. I'm privileged to call them longtime friends. I know that their success stems from their commitment to serve, and anyone who has the privilege to work with them on any level will never be disappointed.

Remarkable Passion

Daryhl Johnson, MD 
General Surgeon,
Medical Director
UNC Trauma, Critical
Care & Emergency Surgery 


Jon and Neka have a remarkable passion for public service.  Their drive is contagious!

Genuine Care

Anita Daniels, MSW, LCSW
Actualities Limited 

It has been such a great pleasure knowing Jon and Neka.  They are consummate professionals who genuinely care about the welfare of all people, especially developing youth and young adults.  "Beyond Now, Toward Enlightenment" speaks to their dedication and collaborative approach to everyday life.  I look forward to continuing our partnership in the years to



Elizabeth Gorsuch 

UNC Medical Education

Neka is a treasure, an extremely sensitive and caring personality.  It is obvious that her heart and inspiration lies in empowering others, particularly those less fortunate and forgotten.  Her personal and professional mission is to provide uplift and outreach wherever she goes. She is a formidable presence in whatever environment she works in.  I can honestly say that I am a better person for having known her, and I feel blessed by her friendship.

Absolute Must-Have

Stephanie G.

I purchased Without Excuses for a family friend, and oh how he loves this book!  His mom says that he asks to read it over and over and that he especially loved the surprise at the end.  KUDOS to Neka and Jon, Without Excuses is an absolute must - have!


An Amazing Spirit

Bernard Bell, EMBA

Executive Director

UNC Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship

Chairman and CEO

Urban Media Solutions

Neka Alston is one of the most professional individuals that I have met since being at UNC. Having met her over a year ago, I was immediately struck by her excellent writing skills, her attention to detail, her ability to anticipate, her strong follow-up skills, and most importantly, her innate understanding of "appropriateness."  As a result, she has developed a brand of excellence and gained a great deal of respect from both the leadership and her peers.  She is creative, has an energy that inspires, and treats people at all levels with respect.

I have personally observed Neka's strong work ethic, sound moral judgment, and solid character.  I would not hesitate to recommend her for any role.  She is an amazing spirit!


Humble & Genuine

Allison Waymyers, MA

USC Graduate Career Education

Jon met my younger brother, Allan when he was just six years old.  He’d let Allan ride the Gamecock football bus with him after games, and encouraged him to give players candy before the away-games.  He allowed Allan to join him for post-game interviews and even let him attempt to help carry his duffle bag to the team bus when Allan asked, though the bag was much larger than he- but Jon supported and praised him anyway.  


As life took Jon to the NFL and corporate America, he made a point to keep up with Allan and he was one of his biggest fans when Allan played football for Jon’s best friend in high school. 


Jon’s humility and genuine passion to help others has never wavered.  Allan even wore Jon’s college number in high school out of respect for his mentorship.  Like Jon, Allan played as an Offensive Lineman. Protecting the Quarterback, without acclaim- Jon is a big guy, but his heart is much bigger.


Jon, thank you for the guidance you’ve provided my brother. You never demanded the spotlight...but you surely deserve it.

Therapy & Comfort For My Whole Family

D. Holmes

Columbia SC

Neka always treated my family with respect. What we thought to be nursing care for my son, turned into therapy and comfort for my whole family. She became family to us. She really cares about people, and it shows in everything she does.  We were lucky to have her and will never forget how much she did during the times we needed support most.

Supporting Our UNC Community

Sheila McDonald

UNC School of Medicine
Student Affairs
Financial Aid and Scholarships


I recall a conversation with Neka where she mentioned that she'd faced a number of  challenges

as a first generation college student, but she was so excited to now be in a position to support students in a way that felt lacking during her own experience.  She is extremely compassionate and naturally charismatic with a graceful presence that makes everyone around her feel comfortable.  Individuals at all levels (from students, faculty and staff) all appreciate her.  Neka is a tremendous asset and we are fortunate to have her as a part of the UNC Community.

5 Star Book Review Rating!

T. Mechella


5 Star Rating!  With the colorful pages and nice rhyming pattern, my daughter was sold right away.  What a great way to start conversations about character building, we're already looking forward to the next! 


Gamecock Football - Leadership On & Off the Field 

Dave Roberts

Gamecock Football

I've had the pleasure of knowing Jon Alston for over 20 years.  As a coach, I watched him lead by example and inspire those around him.  He challenged and motivated others and this strength carried over into the community.  Alston's leadership and discipline played a key role in helping our Gamecocks reach success on and off the field and I'm proud to see him continue to use these skills in a larger way.

Powerful Message

Leticia Patterson, RN
Atlanta, GA

The rhymes are so cute and catchy, and Meadow loves all of the colors.  I think I may even enjoy this book more than she does.  It's filled with powerful messages, well done Neka and Jon!!!

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