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Education

Blue Pearl Club Connectors

The Blue Pearl Club Connectors is proud to partner with Jesse Bobo Elementary School in Spartanburg to provide valuable educational opportunities to its Blue Tie and Pearls of Wisdom Clubs. Jesse Bobo is a Title I school located just inside the city limits of Spartanburg, SC. Their Blue Tie (Boys) Club and Pearls of Wisdom (Girls) Club currently consists of twelve boys and twelve girls, all in the 5th grade, who have been identified by the school’s faculty as students who would benefit from additional learning and character-building opportunities.

College Bound Kids

Saving for college is a difficult task for any parent or student, and often parents and students give up before even trying because they assume it is simply an unachievable goal. 529 savings plans, which were created pursuant to Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, are investment accounts that can help parents or students save money over time for the high cost of education. These accounts are sponsored by individual states and provide tax advantages when funds are used for qualified education expenses.

Fight4Her

Fight4Her focuses on assisting female veterans in the Upstate with connections and resources that they might engage to more successfully transition from their military service to the private sector, especially in their search for meaningful employment. We learned of the need from our team member, Rachel Putman, through her work at Goodwill Industries of the Upstate.

Pendleton Place Partners

Moved by the podcast we listened to on our first DLI class day, our group, Pendleton Place Partners, has collaborated with Pendleton Place, a local nonprofit that, among many other services, seeks to break the cycle of poverty and abuse through programs for youth transitioning out of foster care.

COPA Design: Building Communities

Rationale: A legacy Community Impact Program aligned with Furman University’s Diversity Leadership Institute in the Riley Institute.

Project Description:

From the beginning, the group intentionally focused on the desire to make a direct impact on whatever project we took on. The group was in complete alignment and quickly gravitated towards what we internally called a legacy project. Members of the group had conversations with DLI graduates resulting in strong relationships and idea sharing which led to the COPA II project. Initially created in the Spring 2018 cohort, COPA Champions began to take form.

Swamp Rabbit Express - Strengthening Communities, Nourishing Lives

Approximately 76,000 students attend Greenville County Schools and about half of these student rely on the Food and Nutrition Program. This DLI group worked to expand student access to free, nutritionally balanced meals during the summer months. As a result of their vision, a second food truck will be donated to the Greenville County School District and allow lunches to be delivered directly to students in their own neighborhoods when school breakfasts and lunches are not available. 

Safe Water Initiative at Metanoia (SWIM)

Background

Children ages 1 – 4 have the highest likelihood of drowning across the US generally and in SC (CDC, 2018; CDC, 2016; CSN, 2015). Of all major injuries and deaths among children, drowning was tied with homicide as the number one cause of death in South Carolina1 children ages 1-4 at 36 of every 100,000 children (CSN 2015). Additionally, it is the number three cause of death among South Carolina children ages 5 – 14 at between 15 and 24 per 100,000, and the number five cause of death among children ages 15 – 19 at 38 per 100,000. Deaths tend to be higher in coastal communities – a phenomenon that is not confined just to the US. A number of US and international studies have shown that drowning prevalence is higher in coastal communities (Morgan, Smith, & Triggs, 2008; Franklin, Scarr & Pearn, 2010; Brenner et al, 2001). 

Music is the Medium

The project is a collaborative mentoring program between the Charleston Symphony Youth Orchestra (CSYO) and the Charleston County School District. The project will engage high school graduating Youth Symphony members with students from a Title 1 elementary school in a structured interactive program of music and mentoring. The program will provide an opportunity for CSYO members to share their passion and commitment for music with elementary students in hopes of fostering an appreciation and desire for music education. In addition, the unique nature of the monthly experiences and interactions between the mentors and mentees will hopefully result in a level of mutual engagement and understanding that facilitates a foundation of diversity awareness and impact, for all the participants. 

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.).

Kindergarten College

Kindergarten College takes kindergartners from a low-income neighborhood school to college for a day. A growing body of research shows the benefits of instilling "college culture" values at young ages, and Kindergarten College's goal is to plant seeds of expectations at this crucial growth stage.