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Community Projects

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.

Storytellers

The Storytellers project is designed to develop an avenue for local schools to use the art of storytelling to teach the history of South Carolina. Storytellers will produce an oral history of the integration of Greenville County Schools and develop a lesson plan for middle school history programs. The oral history will weave period graphics with the videotaped personal interviews from actors who participated in the desegregation of GCS, including Secretary Dick Riley, AV Huff, Clyde Mayes, and others.

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 One

The need for affordable, dependable after school care is real. The Boys and Girls Club filled this need for Allendale and Barnwell, providing high quality and affordable extended care. Unfortunately, due to financial constraints, the clubs had to close in 2016.

Team One recognized the void that was left by the Boys and Girls Club in Allendale and Barnwell. The team collaborated with Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands. The project mission was to study the feasibility of the Midlands BGC expansion and sustainability to Allendale and Barnwell. The group brainstormed with Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands, studied required resources, met with schools and parents, began base fundraising, and developed possible action plans to address potential roadblocks of expansion. As of June 2017, the team was continuing efforts to determine the acceptability of a new model that is used in the Midlands as well as fundraising efforts to augment this model as necessary in these counties.  

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.

Team Great Expectations

Team Great Expectations decided to volunteer with the Florence Crittenton House in Charleston, SC. Florence Crittenton is a non-profit organization that provides young, pregnant women with comprehensive services aimed at helping them become self-sufficient and responsible mothers. Through their volunteer work in home/garden improvement projects and meal preparations, Team Great Expectations was able to address problems in health, housing, and finances for a previously underserved population of the Lowcountry community.

Team Homegrown

Gardens of Change was started to create an opportunity to help improve the health and well-being of people who live in food deserts across South Carolina. In partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of the Midlands the first Garden of Change was planted in Columbia SC in the Spring of 2015 in hopes of expanding the number of gardens in South Carolina to all of the Community Centers and Schools where the Boys & Girls Club of the Midlands operates programs.