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Community Action Projects

A S.E.A.T. at the Table

Greenville’s downtown is flourishing through its beautiful scenery, waterfalls, award-winning restaurants, art galleries, local shopping, farmer’s market, entertainment, sports, and warm-hearted neighbors. This DLI team was inspired to enhance our loving community adding a combination of the infectious and positive aspects of pay-it-forward with the spirit of unity.  We have created A S.E.A.T.

Calder Ehrmann Culinary Program at PW

Greenville continues to be challenged with the issue of food deserts, defined as low-income areas without a grocery store within a mile, and therefore tend to rely on fast-food restaurants or convenient stores as primary food sources In partnership with the Phillis Wheatley Association (PWA) and Greenville County, a recent DLI capstone project (PW CHOP) initiated the first phase toward developing a culinary arts program to be operated at the Phillis Wheatley Center (PWC).

COPA Champions

COPA Champions is a program originally created from the mind of Anthony Esquivel, owner of COPA Indoor Soccer. Mr. Esquivel noticed that a large number of Hispanic youth from the local Berea neighborhood were coming to COPA to play soccer at his facility. Based on numerous conversations with the high school aged youth, he discovered that many of the bright and determined soccer enthusiast had no plans for life beyond high school despite their many academic and social achievements.

Freshmen to Finish

The Freshman to Finish capstone project seeks to assist in finding transportation solutions to the problem of transient students in Greenville County. Transients are students who move in the middle of the year and must attend a new school, and although South Carolina Law allows transient students to continue attending their old school until the end of the year, many families and even schools lack the transportation resources to take advantage of this law. This gap in resources can have devastating academic consequences for students.

Upstate Storytellers

The lack of civil discourse on the national stage can deepen division and erode trust. We often seek out stories that confirm our beliefs, which can reinforce stereotypes and obscure what we have in common. This current reality can be discouraging and disheartening. Our goal for this DLI project is to counteract this national trend by providing a platform for sharing local stories that build bridges and empathy.

Askable Adults

The South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy’s (SC Campaign), goal is to decrease teen pregnancy in our state, and to that end, it provides training and technical assistance to adults who are working with or caregivers to teens (ages 12-24).

The SC Campaign developed a six-hour long Askable Adult workshop targeted at adults working with teens (coaches, camp counselors, youth ministers, etc.) that provides participants with an opportunity to learn how to improve communication skills to support adolescents’ healthy decisions. The philosophy of the training is that every moment with a teen is precious and an opportunity for positive encounters that have the most benefit for the teen. 


Diversity Detectives

The goal of our project is to support equitable and inclusive economic growth in South Carolina by encouraging businesses and non-profit organizations to recruit and hire more diverse people. Diversifying the workforce so that all people have equal opportunities and fair compensation is both the right thing and the smart thing to do for South Carolina’s future. South Carolina has persistent gender and racial income gaps that impede economic growth, economic mobility, and human development. Diverse companies perform better.

Give It A Shot!

As we considered our team’s project for the Riley Institute, we agreed that we wanted to impact the lives of students in our state. Through the expertise of one of our team members representing DHEC, we learned that while our public schools require Tdap for all rising 7th grade students, there are two additional vaccinations that are critically important for our youth that many students do not receive. This leaves students vulnerable for potential health problems in the future.

Involve Evolve

The goal of Involve Evolve is to provide cadets at SC Youth Academy with the opportunity to gain lifeskills that will benefit their future life decisions.

The project consists of two pilot initiatives. The first initiative “Evolve” engages the expertise of Sowing Seeds into the Midlands, a grassroots nonprofit located in Columbia, SC, committed to helping youth ages 13-18 thrive. Sowing Seeds will provide Evolve, a 6-week course that takes a deep dive into effective communication, conflict resolution, and managing emotions. Through interactive exercises and current cultural references, cadets will explore the ways their habits in these areas can affect their relationships at home, school, and in the community. This training is not currently being offered to the cadets but has been identified by Academy leadership as a necessary component to a well-rounded program.

Team Tapestry

“A Day of Conversation: Active Listening and Community Engagement within Our Schools” is based on the national #ReviveCivility program, created by The National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD). The purpose of this conversation is to bring people together with different views so they can talk about the state of the country and how we can bridge divides that make it harder to solve our most pressing problems. Team Tapestry also added a student component – in hopes of fostering civility and active listening skills in our future leaders.