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Community Projects

The Bridge

The Bridge identified gang violence as an issue they wanted to address. The project targets at-risk youth in grades K through 5 and centers on a six-week anti-violence, conflict resolution based curriculum. There are multiple objectives, including getting students of different backgrounds to interact with and learn from each other and preventing an inclination to violence at an early age. Workbooks provided by the department of juvenile justice “No Violence is G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education and Training) are used for the program.

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.

Bridges to Success

While there is a variety of well-established interventions and programs for families living in poverty, many parents lack the individual support needed to change their economic circumstances. Bridges to Success is partnering with the Upstate Fatherhood Coalition and the Greenville Literacy Association to address obstacles commonly faced by parents living in poverty, such as low educational attainment, unemployment, and incarceration.

The project’s goal is to combat generational poverty by creating a path for parents to become more economically secure.

Broad Bandits

Broadband usage, access and affordability is increasingly becoming a hurdle for some families who understand the benefits all can experience from its availability. While technology improves all areas of life, its impact on the lives of students is becoming increasingly more crucial as the need for Internet access to even do homework outside of school hours is becoming a necessity.  Access is also crucial in law enforcement, emergency medical situations and other aspects of public safety.  Economic development efforts in local communities can sometimes hinge on the availability of high-speed broadband.   Seeing this need and hoping to bridge the gap and level the playing field, especially for low income families, the Broad Bandits partnered with a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Connect South Carolina, which is a state affiliate of Connected Nation. 

The Capitol Improvers

The Capitol Improvers created P.R.E.P. (Preparedness Re-Entry Program) Action, a program which focuses on providing resources for ex-offender transition and systems for reconnecting the recently released ex-offender with his or her community. Group members hope to help break the endless cycle of release and re-incarceration by providing information about and access to support systems at the point of release; these support systems could meet social, economic, emotional, and spiritual needs.

Capstone Creatures

The Capstone Creatures' starting point question was "Has the physical separation of the programs of United Ministries in three separate buildings on two different sides of the street created more than a physical division among the staff?" The Capstone group did a cultural audit and interviewed staff and volunteers associated with the organization. The group discovered that the geographic diversity problem (two sides of the street) was more relevant than the more traditional diversity issues of race and gender.

Career Motivators

Career Motivators created Project GROWL (Getting Ready for your Opportunity to Work, Laugh, and Learn) to help Midlands high school students secure and retain their first jobs. A job is the first rung on the ladder of being engaged in society. A young person's perception of the working world is formed during his or her first job. Twenty-four Richland County School District Two students received training in the application process and the opportunity to talk directly to hiring managers.

CDs

Recognizing the existing language barrier and lack of bilingual services available, the goal of the CDs was to suggest a more streamlined process of performing daily operations at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Members of this group completed case studies concerning the needs of those individuals that come to the DMV and do not speak English.

Change Agents

The Change Agents sought a way to help individuals who have been disenfranchised by homelessness and/or mental illness.  Partnering with the Triune Mercy Center—an agency actively involved with this overlooked population—group members developed a landscaping project in conjunction with the existing Triune renovation.

Charleston Undertold History Map

The Charleston Undertold History Map team aims to create African-American history walking and driving tours that highlight many of the lesser-known facts about civil rights in the area. The project will unfold in five phases, including paper maps, physical markers denoting such places of interest as former lunch counters and slave import center Gadsden’s Wharf, an interactive map, school curriculum, and an app. Development funding sources for all of these projects are still under consideration, but the mayor’s office is likely to prove helpful in the coming months.