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Community Action Projects

College & Career for Cougars

College and Careers for Cougars (C&C)
A Collaborative to Support NCHS Seniors

Developed by Team Two of the 2015 Lowcountry Program
Furman University’s Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative

In her October 2015 letter to the community, Natrese Dorsey, North Charleston High School (NCHS) Senior Class President, invited the community to “peel back the stigma and tear into the hope” within the members of NCHS’s senior class. It is our team’s goal to take Natrese up on her invitation.

Come Yuh

Placing special emphasis on the growing Hispanic community in the Lowcountry, members of the Come Yuh team focused on ensuring healthcare to all people by overcoming language barriers. Group members presented information about the disproportionately high percentage of the minority population, and Hispanics in particular, who live below the federal poverty line and are uninsured. The team surveyed local health care providers to assess the need for interpreters and to examine existing barriers to providing primary health care to Hispanics with limited English proficiency.

Comiendo Juntos

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CommonUnity is completing a video project that celebrates community differences while honoring its traditions as a rich, vibrant, healthy Upstate of South Carolina.  Every day hundreds of individuals and organizations participate in activities that represent a myriad of ideas and activities which demonstrate the diversity of our communities.  Through this project, the group will demonstrate how the words “acknowledge,” “respect” and “engage” can add significant strength and value to the community.

Community Action Awareness Programs (CAAP)

CAAP members developed a model for addressing diversity from within individual communities. Using the Orangeburg community for the pilot program, CAAP brought together a dozen community leaders, representing a wide array of issues including economic development, education, local politics, healthcare, finance and business. These community leaders were given background materials and led into a discussion on diversity.

Community Connections

Community Connections is a project that serves to leverage the connections of our group members to serve and benefit a need of a Charleston Promise Neighborhood school. Charleston Promise Neighborhood is an innovative nonprofit established in 2010 that aims to break the cycle of poverty in specifically identified neighborhoods in Charleston.  Four elementary schools are served, and they are the focus of Community Connections.

Complex Molecules

The Complex Molecules group members focused on analysis of the local CARTA mass transit system in the Lowcountry. After reviewing information on the demographics of riders, the organization and diversity of CARTA employees, and the route system, group members concluded that several changes must be made in order to promote mass transit in the Lowcountry.


Con-Nection team members aimed to address the issue of reintegration for ex-convicts into the community in the Central Savannah Region Area. After the recent closing of the Aiken Community Outreach Ministry, many of these citizens stopped receiving help from the community and as such, struggled to gain employment and to meet basic living needs.  The Con-Nection team members interviewed ex-convicts who were willing to share their struggles with the media.

Cooking Up the Future

Cooking Up the Future seeks to alleviate some of the issues surrounding social mobility in Greenville. Greenville County is ranked twenty-fourth out of all the counties in the country for difficulty in terms of social mobility. The group identified an organization effecting important community change, Mill Village Farms, as a partner for the capstone project. Mill Village Farms has a paid summer internship program for high school students; the program is focused on students who come from low-income backgrounds.

C.O.P.S. - Changing Our Perspectives

The headlines are rife with stories of violent encounters between law enforcement and the African American community.  C.O.P.S. quickly saw an opportunity (duty may better describe the team’s feelings) to address this disturbing trend while it was in the forefront of everyone’s thoughts. This group believes one way to curtail the violence is to change the perspectives of law enforcement officers and middle school youth of color by having them engage in meaningful activities together.