Skip to Content

Community Involvement

4Wrd Thinking

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “I think it is one of the tragedies of our nation, one of the shameful tragedies that 11:00 on Sunday morning is one of the most segregated hours, if not the most segregated in Christian America.” Our capstone group, 4wrd Thinking, examined Dr. King’s observation by hosting a conversation among religious leaders in the Upstate about this challenging issue. We posed a series of questions to the attendees: Is Dr. King’s observation still valid today? Should something be done to address this phenomenon?

Fostering Greatness

DLI Group 2 formed a partnership with a local Greenville nonprofit, Fostering Great Ideas (FGI), to increase their pool of mentors by 25%, with a focus on increasing the diversity of mentors so that children in foster care can be mentored by someone with whom they can easily identify. You can learn more about FGI at FGIonline.org.

Fostering Hope

Team Fostering Hope has partnered with Fostering Great Ideas (FGI), an organization dedicated to improving the lives of children as they struggle in foster care (fgionline.org). Currently in Upstate South Carolina, there are 1,642 children in foster care and only 900 foster families. Seven hundred and forty two more foster families are needed TODAY so that every child can live with a family while in foster care.

Frogmore Stew

Frogmore Stew desired to expand the conversation on diversity and community leadership to all of South Carolina. Their avenue for doing this was the creation of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) to celebrate success in diversity and inclusion. These PSAs infused music, sports, and teamwork into a central message on the “Power of Diversity.” The group will use mass media to promote these PSAs across the state to stimulate statewide dialogue. 

The Gap Busters

Funding is often the greatest obstacle to obtaining a college degree. Even with lower tuition costs at Midlands Technical College (MTC) and the financial resources available through state and federal student aid programs, students still need money for tuition, books and living expenses. These expenses have the potential to leave a “gap” and may prohibit a student from attending class; the gap amount may be as low as a few hundred dollars, which can cover a car repair expense, a sudden homeless situation, a utility bill, or a minor unexpected illness.

Genuine Nine

Genuine Nine reaches out to Local School to fight for Literacy

Genuine Nine saw too clearly how dangerously South Carolina teeters near the top with inadequate public education, high drop-out rates, and illiteracy. Genuine Nine wanted to make its project impactful by fighting for literacy realizing that parents hold the key in ensuring educational success for their children – particularly in the early years.

GR8 Po$$ibiliT's

Team members of GR8 Po$$ibiliT’s have created the Midlands Diversity Academy, which is designed to bring together students representing diverse backgrounds, experiences, cultures, faiths, and perspectives to discuss their future, the barriers that obstruct their future, and the overall impact on the state of South Carolina if they do not graduate.  Through student engagement and interaction, participants will discuss the challenges that high school students face on a daily basis which represent potential barriers to graduation and the pursuit of post–secondary education.

Guides 4 Good

“Walk in My Shoes” leverages city leadership support to allow a number of justice workers across disciplines to act as mentors to the youth enrolled in Goodwill® GoodGuides®' 52-week, school-based mentorship program. “Walk in My Shoes” also provides program enhancements at the launch of the engagement, a special neighborhood walk for the group to build greater empathy, and an incentivized “graduation” celebration upon completion of the full program for the youth and their families.

The Home Team

The plight of homeless teens in the Midlands is often an invisible problem to the general public. In one given night in January 2016, over 300 youth between the ages of 18 and 24 were experiencing homelessness--just in the Midlands. As children age out of foster care, they may have limited options for a place to sleep, education, a job, a future. There are resources to help, and The Home Team partnered with Palmetto Place Children’s Shelter to expand awareness of the issue of homeless teens and the resources available to them.

IMPACT (Influencing My Peers as a Caring Team)

Project IMPACT was designed to raise poverty awareness high school student leaders in the Greenville community.  A specialized program provided a venue for 9-12th grade students to identify diversity blind spots and influence change in their school communities.  The inaugural program, held December 9, 2016, included over 50 student council class representatives from Greenville and Mauldin High Schools. Student leaders participated in a live-action poverty simulation designed to highlight everyday challenges some peers may face.