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Community Involvement

Party of Eight


Project:  Won’t You Be My Neighbor – Neighborhood “Front Porch” Block Party

Igniting Imaginations

Igniting Imaginations seeks to enlighten and motivate students by providing insight into future career opportunities to underserved seventh graders within the Charleston and Berkeley County School Districts. This project will initially engage students from two underserved area  middle schools with local industry professionals to learn about possible careers in three key fields - healthcare, manufacturing and logistics & aviation. Overviews from each of the three sectors will include information such as descriptions of various jobs at different levels within their organizations, work environments (hours, attire/uniforms, field v. desk), expectations (timeliness, professionalism, focus on safety), educational attainment and other criteria needed for hiring and tips as to the biggest challenges/barriers facing potential employees (including soft skills, certificate attainment, drug testing, etc.).

Kindergarten College

Kindergarten College takes kindergartners from a low-income neighborhood school to college for a day. A growing body of research shows the benefits of instilling "college culture" values at young ages, and Kindergarten College's goal is to plant seeds of expectations at this crucial growth stage.

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.

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.

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.