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Diversity Awareness

Gangbusters

The Gangbusters Group was key to the launching of the BeRight! Project of Bible Way Church of Atlas Road. This project aims to provide resources to parents and/or young people in order to prevent and address negative lifestyle behaviors (gang activity, truancy, teen pregnancy, etc). Through their hotline, BeRight! is able to refer clients to a variety of resources to help them with their specific concern. Gangbusters was able to bring together the important ingredients to launch this project in a very public way.

Greenville Greeters

Mission

The purpose of the Greenville Greeters program is to challenge the misperceptions and false assumptions that people without disabilities have and to engage and connect with each other in a workplace setting, to shift the perception that allows people without disabilities to see the talents, skills, and abilities of people with disabilities.

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.

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.

Horry: RISE (Respect, Integrity, Service, Excellence)

The Conway attendance area, which rests in the heart of the Horry County School District, is made up of 5 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, and one high school. One of 9 attendance areas in the county, Conway is probably the most diverse one. It compasses the Conway city limits, rural farmland of the county, and has communities that thrive along the Waccamaw river. Conway is one of the oldest cities in Horry County and its inhabitants exhibit pride in the community and in the school system. It is an ideal place to settle down and raise a family.

Igniting Imaginations

Igniting Imaginations seeks to enlighten and motivate students by providing insight into future career opportunities to underserved seventh graders within the Charleston and Berkeley County School Districts. This project will initially engage students from two underserved area  middle schools with local industry professionals to learn about possible careers in three key fields - healthcare, manufacturing and logistics & aviation. Overviews from each of the three sectors will include information such as descriptions of various jobs at different levels within their organizations, work environments (hours, attire/uniforms, field v. desk), expectations (timeliness, professionalism, focus on safety), educational attainment and other criteria needed for hiring and tips as to the biggest challenges/barriers facing potential employees (including soft skills, certificate attainment, drug testing, etc.).

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.

Inclusion Infusion

The Inclusion Infusion team of the Riley Institute’s Upstate Diversity Leaders Initiative recognized a need to honor “organizations, programs, and individuals for their contributions in promoting international diversity in the Upstate.” To accomplish this mission, the Infusion Inclusion team organized the International Diversity Leadership Recognition Dinner, which was a “regional evening dinner event to recognize and celebrate good deeds and community service by Upstate individuals and organizations who are leaders in the field of promoting international diversity.”

Investing in Islanders

For a number of years enrollment at St. John’s High School on John’s Island has been declining. Students are being lured away by magnet and charter schools and other opportunities, leaving the school at a disadvantage with lower student numbers and funding. In an effort to create opportunities for the current student body and to better compete for potential student enrollment, St. John’s High School embarked on a strategic planning process. To that end, a strategic plan was established with several goals. One goal is to create internship opportunities for St.

Involve Evolve

The goal of Involve Evolve is to provide cadets at SC Youth Academy with the opportunity to gain lifeskills that will benefit their future life decisions.

The project consists of two pilot initiatives. The first initiative “Evolve” engages the expertise of Sowing Seeds into the Midlands, a grassroots nonprofit located in Columbia, SC, committed to helping youth ages 13-18 thrive. Sowing Seeds will provide Evolve, a 6-week course that takes a deep dive into effective communication, conflict resolution, and managing emotions. Through interactive exercises and current cultural references, cadets will explore the ways their habits in these areas can affect their relationships at home, school, and in the community. This training is not currently being offered to the cadets but has been identified by Academy leadership as a necessary component to a well-rounded program.