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Community Involvement

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.

Con-Nection

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.

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.

COPA Design: Building Communities

Rationale: A legacy Community Impact Program aligned with Furman University’s Diversity Leadership Institute in the Riley Institute.

Project Description:

From the beginning, the group intentionally focused on the desire to make a direct impact on whatever project we took on. The group was in complete alignment and quickly gravitated towards what we internally called a legacy project. Members of the group had conversations with DLI graduates resulting in strong relationships and idea sharing which led to the COPA II project. Initially created in the Spring 2018 cohort, COPA Champions began to take form.

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. 

CORE: Creating Opportunities and Recognizing Excellence

C.O.R.E. desires to recognize high school students who inspire others because they have overcome obstacles in their lives.  To accomplish this, the group has partnered with Carolina and Greenville High Schools in Greenville, South Carolina.  Based on criteria established by the group, each school will select two students from their schools—one male and one female—to receive the “DLI   C.O.R.E.

C3 (Community, Coats and Cops)

Beginning on Nov. 23, the Greenville County Sheriff’s office will add a new element to their daily patrols. The deputies will be carrying winter coats that can be given to individuals and families who need protection from the cold weather. The coats will be stored in the officers’ vehicles and made available whenever a deputy recognizes a need.

The Council

Challenge Day is a unique experience through which students and community leaders become more meaningfully engaged in making campus life safer, creating a positive learning environment and establishing better communications among students and their teachers. It achieves its goals through a daylong sequence of powerful, high-energy exercises and reflections in which participants talk about their values and aspirations, while setting new goals that will shape their campus life.

DeLIvering Compassion

More than half of the students in a typical classroom have experienced some form of abuse or neglect, encountered a violent crime, or experienced another traumatic event. Trauma can impact brain development and impair a student's ability to learn and/or control behavior and social functioning. Trauma can also significantly affect a student's overall performance at school contributing to poor attendance and an increase in behavioral problems that lead to suspension or expulsion, and a higher dropout rate.