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BUSITAS: Building Up S.T.E.A.M. in the Arts and STEM

DLI Team 5 was given the opportunity to meet with Robin Berlinsky, M.Ed. who is the executive Director of Engaging Creative Minds (ECM) – a nonprofit organization located near Charleston, SC. ECM is an organization that arranges for STEM professionals and Artists across all media types to develop and teach core educational concepts in local school systems throughout the year and also during summer camps.

SC Appleseed


About SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center

The original idea for the Appleseed Justice Network was established by Harvard Law School’s Class of 1958 and the mission was to create an organization to establish and guide centers for law in the public interest. Instead of the traditional model of providing legal services to individuals, the Network’s strategy was to tackle system-wide reform.

Angels United

Angels United developed an awareness campaign strategy in support of United Ministries, a Greenville-based nonprofit that empowers individuals and families in the Upstate who are on the path to self-sufficiency. The campaign strategy emphasized the value of communicating United Ministries’ multitude of services, from GED preparation to crisis assistance, to potential donors.

DiverSe Connections

DiverSe Connections was tasked to work with Family Connections to help them enhance their connections to community partners, leaders and influencers. We learned that although they are one of the premiere service providers for parents and care givers of children with disabilities, they are still the best kept secret. Although they had a robust website and an amazing communications team, they had no simple way to share their very complicated story.

Baby Got Bank

A Financial Fitness guide for young adults participating in Epworth Children’s Homes’ Center for Independent Living and Family Care Counseling programs was created by Capstone Group 4. These programs focus on developing life skills and educational opportunities for residents and program participants. The guide is intended to introduce personal financial skills training and connect Epworth Children’s Home to resources but does not substitute for professional advice.

Team Toucan

Team Toucan focused efforts on Roadrunner Reading Bridge which connects residents of Lexington Medical Center’s Extended Care (“LMC-EC”) with the elementary children of Red Bank Elementary in a project that will delight both groups. The residents at LMC-EC, like all residents of nursing homes, have faced unprecedented separation from loved ones and the outside world during the pandemic. Team Toucan connects Lexington County seniors with the comfort and joy of a local elementary child’s voice.


In an effort to initiate critical dialog in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest surrounding racial injustice, the Social-Emotional Learning Alliance for S.C. (SEL4SC), in partnership with the Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative 2020 Class (DLI) is launching an initiative to help communities come together to support each other in crisis.

The Harmonizers

The Harmonizers, a community action project of Furman University’s Diversity Leaders Initiative, developed a series of concert programs that are sensory friendly for children and adults who are neurodiverse.

Together We Read to Succeed

Project Summary: The purpose of this project was to collect new and gently used inspirational children's books for kids in need, K-5 generally and 3rd Grade specifically, for the Spartanburg County District 7 Summer Reading Camps and for use in elementary school fall learning. With Covid-19, South Carolina students started doing remote learning in March 2020. Many are continuing with virtual learning this academic year. This can create learning gaps - especially for students without print-rich environments at home. 

A Mother's Voice

Child Trends released a report citing that more than five million U.S. children have had a resident parent incarcerated at one point or another. While men make up 99 percent of the U.S. prison population, the number of women and mothers involved in the criminal justice system has grown significantly over the last 20 years.

Since 1991, the numbers of mothers in state and federal prisons has more than doubled, to an estimated 120,000. The majority of women are incarcerated for non-violent related offenses, like drug, property, or public-order offenses.