Skip to Content

Financial Services

Bridging Diversity GAPS in the UPSTATE

G.A.P.S. focused on the extension of effective emergency services to minority groups, specifically the growing Hispanic minority in the Upstate. G.A.P.S. noted that emergency services' ineffectiveness in responding to specific crises is often related to language barriers, as well as the general reluctance of the Hispanic minority to use emergency services for (1) fear of INS or deportation, (2) fear of losing U.S.-born children, or (3) prior negative experiences with authorities. G.A.P.S.

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.

Broad Bandits

Broadband usage, access and affordability is increasingly becoming a hurdle for some families who understand the benefits all can experience from its availability. While technology improves all areas of life, its impact on the lives of students is becoming increasingly more crucial as the need for Internet access to even do homework outside of school hours is becoming a necessity.  Access is also crucial in law enforcement, emergency medical situations and other aspects of public safety.  Economic development efforts in local communities can sometimes hinge on the availability of high-speed broadband.   Seeing this need and hoping to bridge the gap and level the playing field, especially for low income families, the Broad Bandits partnered with a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Connect South Carolina, which is a state affiliate of Connected Nation. 

The Dollar $cholars

Everyday 7,000 students drop out of high school and graduation rates continue to decrease. The Dollar Scholars project focuses on providing financial literacy for young people in middle school. Middle school students were chosen because students between the 6th and 8th grades are the most open to new information and are the most adaptive. The idea is to have young people focus on financial literacy so as they get older they can make wiser decisions.

Dream Connectors

The primary goal of the Dream Connectors is to provide seventh grade students, primarily those from less advantaged backgrounds, with the opportunity to learn about diverse career opportunities available in the Upstate. The project consists of pilot programs that will connect students at the Hughes Academy of Science and Technology and Lakeview Middle School with Upstate businesses, namely BMW, Greenville Health System and Michelin.

Embrace SC

Embrace SC has created a website that can be utilized as a tool for companies who are targeting and recruiting diverse candidates to the Midlands. Mindful of the negative perception that many people still have of South Carolina, the group’s website provides links to organizations, activities and relevant resources in the Midlands that cater to diverse individuals in the following categories:

The Gap Busters

Funding is often the greatest obstacle to obtaining a college degree. Even with lower tuition costs at Midlands Technical College (MTC) and the financial resources available through state and federal student aid programs, students still need money for tuition, books and living expenses. These expenses have the potential to leave a “gap” and may prohibit a student from attending class; the gap amount may be as low as a few hundred dollars, which can cover a car repair expense, a sudden homeless situation, a utility bill, or a minor unexpected illness.

One Hartsville

While small, rural towns - like Hartsville, SC - confront many of the same problems as urban cities, they also face challenges that are distinct, including the lack of easy-to-get-to support services. This lack can affect the educational growth and skill development of rural youth. At the same time, people who live and work in rural places boast a strong sense of community  and willingness to work together to make things better.

OTB: Out of the Box

Team OTB (Out of the Box) partnered with Wachovia, a Wells Fargo Company, and the Upstate YMCAs to deliver financial literacy for children in grades 4–6. The focus of the project was to provide financial education and workshops for children in four areas: where money comes from; budgeting; savings & checking; and credit, using the online program Hands on Banking, offered by Wells Fargo www.handsonbanking.org.

Project 7831

Project 7831 group members examined the inaccessibility of the banking system to the minority population, particularly the state's African-American population. The team researched statistics related to those who use banks and revealed in their presentation that a low percentage of minority citizens utilize banks when compared to their total percentage in the population.