Skip to Content

Community Projects

Opening South Carolina to Teach for America

Teach for America, a national non-profit organization that places new teachers in low-performing schools, will make its first entry into South Carolina during the 2011-12 school year. The program will bring thirty bright, young teachers for two-year teaching tenures in Florence, Orangeburg, Darlington and Clarendon Counties. The TFA team project focuses on helping welcome these new teachers from all across the US and making them quickly become comfortable in South Carolina.

Out and About: Connecting Kids to Opportunities

The biggest predictor of test scores and college access in the United States is income. There is a disparity in opportunities that students have access to outside of school, and evidence that this gap is widening.  Recognizing this problem in Greenville and that the experiences of each individual in our group positions us to be able to be part of the solution, Out & About: Connecting Kids with Opportunities decided to pursue ways to increase the diversity of opportunities for low-income children in Greenville.

Pay It Forward

Building upon the success of two prior Capstone projects, Team Pay It Forward partnered with a program with program with proven results: Momentum Bike Clubs (MBC). MBC mission is to positively impact the development of young people through mentoring relationships by establishing bike clubs in underserved communities.

Poinsett People

The Poinsett People’s Team objective was to devise a project which would provide young people of middle school age from very low income backgrounds with the opportunities, skills and forum/voice to positively influence their community in a lasting and impactful manner.

Project Discovery

Project Discovery is the result of an innovative partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Upstate, Carver Middle School and DLI that provides 18 high-performing students with an opportunity to get an interactive view of three Upstate employers. Boys & Girls Club members will get an in-depth look at facilities and feature hands-on activities and informal discussions with business leaders to discuss future career options and study.

REAP: Reading Enrichment from Away Parents

The REAP team mission is based on a program called “Books Beyond” that was established at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections. The program aims to strengthen the bond between children and their incarcerated parents through books. The REAP program is carried out in three simple steps: first, volunteers work with inmates to choose collected, donated, or purchased books that they would like to share with their children. Second, those books are then read and recorded onto a recording device.

Road Runners

The Road Runners' project was to create a resource guide for newly-arrived immigrants that explains and presents the key customs, services and expectations of the Upstate community that would help ease the integration process. The Road Runners recognized that there were both explicit and implicit challenges integrated into the Upstate culture making it difficult for immigrants to integrate.

Second Chancers

The Second Chancers project is working with a local task force to improve opportunities and recidivism rates for reentering citizens (the ex-offender population). High recidivism rates is a national problem that impacts all areas of our society, from local families to our national economy.  Here in South Carolina there are approximately 1.1 million adults (about 1 in 3) with a criminal record.

Smart Board

Smart Board members developed a tool kit to assist board members when hiring individuals to a Board of Directors position within a non-profit organization. Using "Hands on Greenville" (HOG) as the target organization, group members completed an analysis of the community that HOG serves as well as an inventory of its board members and the constituencies it currently targets. From this analysis, group members devised a tool kit that would be instrumental in the process of attracting new and diverse people, who would add to the diversity management of HOG's board.

S.O.L.E.S.

Members of S.O.L.E.S. (Strengthening Our Leaders, Engaging Society) worked with Youth Leadership Greenville students and asked them to capture their “views” of diversity through photography. Each student was given a digital camera and photos were judged by Upstate DLA Class VI. The photos chosen were published in a 2008 multicultural calendar and distributed to area businesses and non-profit organizations. In addition, a gallery showing and reception for the finalists and their photos will take place at the Clemson University ICAR Gallery in early 2008.