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Community Involvement

BUSITAS: Building Up S.T.E.A.M. in the Arts and STEM

DLI Team 5 was given the opportunity to meet with Robin Berlinsky, M.Ed. who is the executive Director of Engaging Creative Minds (ECM) – a nonprofit organization located near Charleston, SC. ECM is an organization that arranges for STEM professionals and Artists across all media types to develop and teach core educational concepts in local school systems throughout the year and also during summer camps.

Compañeros de PASOs (PASOs Partners)

PASOs builds a stronger South Carolina by supporting Latino communities with education, advocacy, and leadership development; three actions drive the mission – Educate, Connect, Advocate. Our team, Compañeros de PASOs (PASOs Partners), wanted to provide them with tools by which to achieve the goals outlined in their statewide annual strategic plan, specifically:

Angels United

Angels United developed an awareness campaign strategy in support of United Ministries, a Greenville-based nonprofit that empowers individuals and families in the Upstate who are on the path to self-sufficiency. The campaign strategy emphasized the value of communicating United Ministries’ multitude of services, from GED preparation to crisis assistance, to potential donors.

Group 1

Four 15-minute podcast episodes that explore the intersectionality of police use of force, race, and people with disabilities. Through this podcast we seek to bring awareness to the issue people with disabilities, specifically people of color with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families, face when dealing with law enforcement and solutions for communities in South Carolina.  The Group focused on four different segments of the issue for the podcast:

Team Toucan

Team Toucan focused efforts on Roadrunner Reading Bridge which connects residents of Lexington Medical Center’s Extended Care (“LMC-EC”) with the elementary children of Red Bank Elementary in a project that will delight both groups. The residents at LMC-EC, like all residents of nursing homes, have faced unprecedented separation from loved ones and the outside world during the pandemic. Team Toucan connects Lexington County seniors with the comfort and joy of a local elementary child’s voice.

The Harmonizers

The Harmonizers, a community action project of Furman University’s Diversity Leaders Initiative, developed a series of concert programs that are sensory friendly for children and adults who are neurodiverse.

PALS – Providing Alternatives to Leadership & Support

South Carolina’s older adult population is among the fastest growing populations in the nation. Alarmingly, approximately 10% of older adults in South Carolina are below the federal poverty level. Previous research indicates severe socioeconomic stressors contribute to declines in quality of life (QOL) including physical and mental health, social functioning, and emotional well-being. Functional and cognitive limitations associated with older adults living with disabilities restrict older adults from being significant contributors in South Carolina communities.

Compass GVL: Helping the Community 1 Address at a Time

The goal of Compass GVL’s project proposal is to improve visibility for residential communities during COVID-19. There are residential neighborhoods in the community without clearly displayed address numbers on the house, mailbox, or curb. This delays the response time for first responders and other service providers during COVID-19. Compass GVL will provide the service of painting address numbers at no cost to community members. These numbers will be painted on the curbs to assist first responders and other service providers in locating residents quickly when needed.

Tiger Team

The Tiger Team focused on neighborhoods of blight in upstate South Carolina where few opportunities exist for affordable housing, steady employment, small business development, and quality-of-life essentials like fresh groceries, recreational facilities, and youth activities. The team partnered with a newly created non-profit organization, Opportunity South Carolina (OPSC), to discover tangible ways to take advantage of recently created “opportunity zone” investment incentives introduced in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The A Team

Celebrate Diversity Activity Book

Celebrate Diversity is an eight-page activity book for elementary age youth focusing on diversity, culture, and respecting differences. Students participate in facilitator-led group discussions and dyads, followed by time to color and complete activities.