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Community Involvement

Team Metanoia

Team Metanoia chose to augment an already existing program in the Charleston area. This program is geared toward improving the lives of those who live in the Chicora Cherokee neighborhood, a low income community in North Charleston with tremendous challenges and vast potential. A full 98% of its students at the local elementary school live below the poverty line. At one time, the community had the highest crime rate in the city of North Charleston and the 12th highest crime rate overall in the nation. The community is comprised of 85 percent rental property.

Team PASSION (Poverty Awareness – Simulating Struggles in Our Neighborhoods)

More than 46 million Americans live in poverty, and a third are living in low-income.  Every day under-resourced families face frightening insecurity characterized by unemployment or under employment, food and shelter insecurity, and a stressful day-to-day existence.  Team PASSION first focused its efforts on understanding the impact of limited resources on day-to-day living through their participation in the Missouri Community Action Partnership Poverty Simulation, a live event in which more than 100 participants were challenged to make it through a month while navigating unex

Team Youth Success

DLI participants from Midlands Class V, Team Youth Success, designed and enlisted community members in implementing a program for upperclassmen at the RN Beck Learning Center, an alternative school that was established to provide a second chance for students who are expelled from their regular middle or high schools in Florence County District One. 

Teen Achievers Champions

Inspired by Nelson Mandela’s belief that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” the Teen Achievers Champions are partnering with the YMCA of Greenville to help enhance and grow its Teen Achievers Program, which has Mr. Mandela’s belief at the core of its mission. More specifically, the YMCA Teen Achievers Program is a free program with a proven track record of helping participants stay in school by:

The Gladiators

Group members of The Gladiators sought a way to promote and encourage healthier nutrition among children in the Upstate.  Currently, the Greenville County School District has implemented a successful healthy nutrition program at AJ Whittenberg Elementary School.  The district is seeking to expand this program to ten additional schools for the 2011-12 school year.

The Good News Bears

The Good News Bears (GNB) of the Upstate DLI sought to find an interested community partner to assist adults who may be underemployed or unemployed. GNB plans to design practical, relevant sessions to support adults interested in preparing for job interviews, connecting with community resources, and receiving educational support on a variety of topics.

The Next Generation

Members of the Next Generation decided to take on the lack of diversity management curriculum in education. In order to create a dialogue about diversity management in education, the Next Generation created a website, www.teachdiversity.org. As the project evolved, the group added to the website the following: recognition of award-winning programs in promoting diversity in education; lesson plans on diversity; books, videos and resources on diversity in education; grant opportunities; and conferences on diversity.

The Riley Institute-Honoring the History of the Rice Culture

The purpose of this Capstone project is to develop an opportunity to educate and provide an experience around the Rice Culture and to expose the economic contributions of the culture for 8th Grade students in Charleston County. The group is providing a thoroughly planned out and financially supported field trip to the Rice Museum and Hobcaw Barony for the 8th grade students at Sanders-Clyde and Burke Middle Schools. Curriculum has been developed and will be turned over to the schools to be used by the teachers in the school.

The Sixth Sense

Upstate Diversity Connections was formed to provide a forum for sustaining the enthusiasm and expertise of the Riley Institute Diversity Leaders Initiative graduates once they have completed their formal diversity course requirements. The inaugural event was held November 28th, 2007, at Michelin. Former Secretary of Education Dick Riley and several local leaders spoke about their experiences in diversity management. Brock Koonce and Greenville Forward have agreed to sustain the effort and to host all subsequent events.

The Stand Outs, "Speak Up, Stand Out" Project

“Speak Up, Stand Out” is a grassroots campaign encouraging peer-to-peer awareness and support to combat bullying among youths.  In partnership with Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands, “Speak Up, Stand Out” involves the submission of short, personal stories from youth for youth to be provided in a web-based format with a process for the identification of three “winners” to receive cash prizes for their submission.  By choosing to “speak up,” these youth who offer their personal stories to their peers have the opportunity to &ldquo