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Community Projects

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.

STARTS (Serenity Through the Arts)

STARTS, or Serenity Through the Arts, aims to connect Serenity Place with Converse College to create a sustainable art therapy program. Serenity Place is the residential arm of The Family Effect, a Greenville non-profit that provides rehabilitation for addicted mothers and their children.

Students of art therapy at Converse will incorporate the visual arts, music, and other creative outlets to help mothers and children make progress emotionally and developmentally.

STRETCH for Children: Striving to Reach Each Terrific Child's Hunger

STRETCH (Striving To Reach Each Terrific Child’s Hunger) sought to address a tragic reality facing many children in South Carolina every weekend - a lack of available food, as a result of not having access to school-provided free and reduced price meals. After researching the mechanics, infrastructure, and viability of existing programs designed to combat this problem, STRETCH worked in conjunction with Harvest Hope Food Bank to implement a Backpack Program at Sumter County School District Two's R.E. Davis Elementary School, a school with a 96% free and reduced price lunch rate, in which children are sent home every weekend with a backpack stocked with nutritious, child-friendly, easy-to-prepare food. STRETCH designed the program with an eye on creating a sustainable, scalable model that will hopefully be replicated in other schools.

Team 20/20

20/20 team members chose to create a diversity leadership program for young professionals in the Charleston region. Inspired by their own encounter with diversity leadership, group members wanted to share their experience with a growing population of young professionals in the region and set out to develop the Charleston Young Professionals Diversity Academy. Team 20/20's plan is designed to educate young professionals on diversity initiatives and create a business community of young professionals that is diversity-conscious.