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Community Action Projects

Sojourners

From the outset, Sojourners sought to develop a Capstone Project that would broaden the discussion of diversity among upstate youth. Our team believes that achieving trusting interpersonal relations, which bridge racial, economic, gender, religious, ethnic, and other cultural and social boundaries is critical to building peace. Providing a forum where young people may discover, understand, welcome and celebrate the similarities and differences among people will serve to provide new pathways and real opportunities for sustainable inclusive communities.

S.O.L.E.S.

Members of S.O.L.E.S. (Strengthening Our Leaders, Engaging Society) worked with Youth Leadership Greenville students and asked them to capture their “views” of diversity through photography. Each student was given a digital camera and photos were judged by Upstate DLA Class VI. The photos chosen were published in a 2008 multicultural calendar and distributed to area businesses and non-profit organizations. In addition, a gallery showing and reception for the finalists and their photos will take place at the Clemson University ICAR Gallery in early 2008.

Spartanburg 6: Cavaliers Care

The Cavaliers Care Program is a program designed to provide support resources for students that help them focus on career goals, making better decisions, overcoming adversity and obstacles, improve soft skills, and improve their overall academic achievement. Students that have made poor choices are referred to the program instead of being suspended out of school for long periods. The program keeps students at school where we can provide counseling and support designed to help them to be successful.

Spartanburg 7: Viking Alliance

Through mentoring, the project will expose young males to diverse life activities, develop strong ethical character and provide models of positive leadership.

Purpose:

Spectrum

Resource Engagement for Regional Minority Business Growth

A regional minority economic development plan was recently created through the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments. This plan, called “The Strategy: Minority Business Partnership” (MBP) outlines the path to grow minority businesses in the Charleston region. One important need identified in the MPB is for minority business owners to develop “actionable relationships.” These relationships can only be developed as business owners leave their silos and connect with community leaders who can be resources to grow their businesses. The MBP suggests that one method to achieve this is for minority business owners to serve in leadership roles with chambers of commerce.

Spokes and Wheels: Connecting the Dots

The Spokes and Wheels project is a partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Midlands to introduce youth, ages 13-18 years old, to biking in a summer program to be sustainable over time. The group’s goals are to promote health/physical fitness, develop young peoples’ skills, encourage confidence with reliable relationships and, as the program develops, mentors. Activities would include bike repair, bike riding, safety and field trips in partnership with bike shops and clubs in the Midlands as well as the City of Columbia Police Department.

STANDUP—Speaking Truth and Understanding People

STANDUP’s goal is to attempt to broaden the horizons of the Upstate’s most challenged youth by connecting them to opportunities for interaction with successful adults and exposure to future possibilities. Based on the belief that among the many challenges facing too many of our youth is a lack of exposure to successful paths forward, we recognize that a successful and stable career may indeed seem out of reach to those youth who have little to no opportunity to meet and interact with participants in various career paths and witness the options available to them.

START: Summer's Timeless Adventure, Read Today!

The START team targeted a serious but not fully appreciated problem affecting young readers: summer reading loss. Studies have shown that children lose between 9 and 12 weeks of reading skills during the summer break. For below-average readers, the cumulative loss has a critically adverse impact on a child’s reading development.

STARTS (Serenity Through the Arts)

STARTS, or Serenity Through the Arts, aims to connect Serenity Place with Converse College to create a sustainable art therapy program. Serenity Place is the residential arm of The Family Effect, a Greenville non-profit that provides rehabilitation for addicted mothers and their children.

Students of art therapy at Converse will incorporate the visual arts, music, and other creative outlets to help mothers and children make progress emotionally and developmentally.

STEM in Motion

Building on the success of a prior Capstone project (Class XIII), STEM in Motion aims at expanding the Dream Connectors program into a high school. Through an innovative partnership with Greenville County Schools and leveraging the strong network of various team members with business partners and local associations (such as Upstate STEM Collaborative, businesses, the Hispanic Alliance and Mentor Greenville), this exciting program formalizes an opportunity for Berea High School freshmen to learn about the academic and technical requirements, and soft skills required to succeed in a STEM career.