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Community Involvement

Big Steps : Little Steps

The group elected to support two charities. Big Steps is the Little Project and Little Steps is the Big Project. 

Big Steps:

The group partnered with the Teen Achievers with the YMCA, a group that encourages teens to seek higher education to overdrive that program. Teen Achievers asked the group for help creating a contact list for volunteer and success coaches, companies willing to provide job shadowing opportunities to teens, and recruiting inspirational leaders to speak to high schools in our community.

The Bike Hubbers

Project Name: Building Capacity for Momentum Bike Clubs

Team 4 of the Spring 2014 Upstate DLI Class has chosen a capstone project designed to strengthen the capacity of Momentum Bike Clubs, which was itself the outcome of an earlier DLI capstone project. A community initiative of the Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life at Clemson University, Momentum Bike Clubs provides mentoring support to youth living with multiple risk factors: persistent poverty, caregiver incarceration, and/or instability in home life.

Bill's Walkabouts

“Where would you go if you were homeless tonight?”

Each night in Upstate South Carolina there are hundreds of individuals and families that have no place to call home. Bill’s Walkabouts partnered with the Upstate Homeless Coalition (UHC) to present an evening program to highlight the issues of homelessness in the Upstate.

Blue Tie Club Connections

The Blue Tie Club Connectors unanimously decided to reach out to young people early in their lives to make community connections and provide engaged learning opportunities to make a positive impact on the children’s lives. The group met with Thomas Webster, the principal of Jesse Bobo Elementary, a Title I school in Spartanburg, and we discovered the “Blue Tie Club.” The Blue Tie Club is a group of 20 fifth graders - all young men previously identified by the school’s faculty as being in need of extra attention and opportunity for success - who meet after school for various character-building exercises. This team found the group lacked resources and community support, so the goal became to expose these kids to unique opportunities they might otherwise never experience through the group’s passion and efforts as Blue Tie Club Connectors. 

Board Link

Board Link-Lowcounry created a database to aid organizations in finding qualified and diverse candidates for board and commission appointments. Corporate, nonprofit, and governmental entities will be able to search through this database when trying to develop boards that accurately reflect the diversity of our state and nation. Board Link-Lowcountry is targeting graduates of many of the state’s prominent leaderships programs (like DLI) to take an online questionnaire that will then register these graduates into the database.

BoardLINK

BoardLINK is a searchable database intended to make community service opportunities available to DLI alumnae. It is hoped this will increase Board participation and representation, particularly in local government, by DLI alumnae who appreciate the importance of diversity and can offer different perspectives on issues. BoardLINK’s intended purpose is to broaden the pool of candidates available to serve on local government boards, which may lack a diverse pool of qualified candidates.

Through this process the group have/will:

Book Bags of Love

The Book Bags of Love initiative was developed to provide book bags to adult men who are experiencing temporary homelessness. The team feels this is an important initiative based on the disparity of resources available for men compared to women and children enduring similar situations. By partnering with local companies such as Dude Wipes, Dead Down Wind Body Wipes, and Good Wipes as well as raising money, the team will be able to provide bags containing toiletries and a document holder. Supporting this need will strengthen our community.

Bridge Builders

Bridge Builders studied how Upstate legislators address their constituencies and explored tensions that exist within communities. By using a sample size composed of community leaders with differing genders, political parties, race, etc., Bridge Builders found that their sample reflected a desire to be involved in politics and were specifically interested in education as a primary issue. They also found that legislators felt they had been excluded and isolated from their constituencies.

Bridge Builders

The Bridge Builders of The Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative Class XX, will provide career exposure to students in Furman University’s Bridges to a Brighter Future program, which is a seven-year college access and success program for Greenville County high school and college students. It is designed to not only expose students to college, but to address and eliminate the personal, social, and cultural barriers that often prevent low-income and first-generation students from achieving college graduation.

Bridge Builders (Bridges to a Brighter Future)

Bridge Builders will serve as a catalyst and initially develop the program components to create a mentoring Diversity Leadership Initiative (DLI) program. DLI graduates will volunteer to serve as mentors to the Bridges to a Brighter Future program graduates in their junior and senior years of college. Mentors will be paired with students based on their professional career/experience and the student’s major and intended or desired career.