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Education

Blue Tie Club Connections

The Blue Tie Club Connectors unanimously decided to reach out to young people early in their lives to make community connections and provide engaged learning opportunities to make a positive impact on the children’s lives. The group met with Thomas Webster, the principal of Jesse Bobo Elementary, a Title I school in Spartanburg, and we discovered the “Blue Tie Club.” The Blue Tie Club is a group of 20 fifth graders - all young men previously identified by the school’s faculty as being in need of extra attention and opportunity for success - who meet after school for various character-building exercises. This team found the group lacked resources and community support, so the goal became to expose these kids to unique opportunities they might otherwise never experience through the group’s passion and efforts as Blue Tie Club Connectors. 

The Bookworms

In an effort to encourage parent-child bonding and heighten community awareness of the importance of reading to and by young children, Bookworms partnered with Ready 4 Reading (www.ready4reading.org) to develop a network of partners and sustainability plan for the Ready 4 Reading’s Bookshelf Program. This program re-circulates gently used children’s books back into the community by making them available to low-income families through clinics, community centers, Head Start programs and schools.

Bridge Builders

The Bridge Builders of The Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative Class XX, will provide career exposure to students in Furman University’s Bridges to a Brighter Future program, which is a seven-year college access and success program for Greenville County high school and college students. It is designed to not only expose students to college, but to address and eliminate the personal, social, and cultural barriers that often prevent low-income and first-generation students from achieving college graduation.

Bridge Builders (Bridges to a Brighter Future)

Bridge Builders will serve as a catalyst and initially develop the program components to create a mentoring Diversity Leadership Initiative (DLI) program. DLI graduates will volunteer to serve as mentors to the Bridges to a Brighter Future program graduates in their junior and senior years of college. Mentors will be paired with students based on their professional career/experience and the student’s major and intended or desired career.

Bridges to Success

While there is a variety of well-established interventions and programs for families living in poverty, many parents lack the individual support needed to change their economic circumstances. Bridges to Success is partnering with the Upstate Fatherhood Coalition and the Greenville Literacy Association to address obstacles commonly faced by parents living in poverty, such as low educational attainment, unemployment, and incarceration.

The project’s goal is to combat generational poverty by creating a path for parents to become more economically secure.

Building Bridges

The team objective was to bring together and, in turn, build bridges between groups of students from two different worlds. With this passion and vision in hand, the Building Bridges team, which included Carolina High School’s principal Mr. Michael Delaney and St. Joseph Catholic School’s headmaster Mr. Keith Kiser, developed and launched this new cultural bridge program.

Capitol Kids

Goal: Provide a diverse group of seventh-grade students with the opportunity to shadow their state representatives for a day at the State Capitol.

As a project of Furman's Riley Institute Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI), a group of eight community leaders is piloting Capitol Kids in the Lowcountry for the 2015-2016 academic year. A statewide program, the purpose of the DLI is to raise awareness of diversity issues, engage in meaningful dialogue, and develop relationships to help move South Carolina forward.

C2C: Collision2Collaboration

C2C: Collision to Collaboration selected Sara Collins Elementary’s Sizzling Saturday program for its pilot.

Goal: Define, create, plan, and implement a Diversity module to be incorporated into an existing Sizzling Saturday event at Sara Collins Elementary. Based on the results of this pilot, we plan to define the Sizzling Saturday program with a Diversity module and introduce it to elementary schools in neighboring school districts working collaboratively with schools and local PTAs.

Carolina Perspectives

Team Carolina Perspectives’ goal is to bring DLI alumni together to continue the style and dynamic of the conscious conversation experienced during DLI classes. The group hopes to continue and build relationships among DLI alumni, facilitate at least two evenings of conscious conversations that stimulate diversity awareness, and enhance DLI growth through these dialogue and relationships and “carry it on.”

Career Motivators

Career Motivators created Project GROWL (Getting Ready for your Opportunity to Work, Laugh, and Learn) to help Midlands high school students secure and retain their first jobs. A job is the first rung on the ladder of being engaged in society. A young person's perception of the working world is formed during his or her first job. Twenty-four Richland County School District Two students received training in the application process and the opportunity to talk directly to hiring managers.