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Team Metanoia

Row 1 (l-r) Stacey Denaux, Stephanie Eames, Toya Green, Paul Campbell
Row 2: Steve Dudash, Grady Johnson, Laura Varn, Jamal Middleton, Bill New, Jr., Bill Stanfield

Team Metanoia chose to augment an already existing program in the Charleston area. This program is geared toward improving the lives of those who live in the Chicora Cherokee neighborhood, a low income community in North Charleston with tremendous challenges and vast potential. A full 98% of its students at the local elementary school live below the poverty line. At one time, the community had the highest crime rate in the city of North Charleston and the 12th highest crime rate overall in the nation. The community is comprised of 85 percent rental property.

That’s where the Metanoia Community Development Corporation comes in. Metanoia, led by Rev. Bill Stanfield, is a movement of people, rooted in faith. They invest in neighborhood assets to build leaders, establish quality housing and generate economic development. Two of the many inspiring attributes of Metanoia that stood out to us in their quest to improve the neighborhood were their strong belief that by focusing on the positives of a community, the community transforms itself; and their conviction that the people living in the community have the best sense of what is needed for improvement.

To assist with the already positive changes occurring in this community, Team Metanoia decided to create a leadership training program. This program, which draws on talent within a data base of willing local community leaders, is based on an ongoing needs assessment. It is developed so the young leaders may learn leadership and life skills from outside speakers and subject matter experts, and in turn teach them to their peers and school-aged children in a formalized community-based training program. The program involves subject matter experts teaching the young leaders on core competencies and electives, including critical thinking skills, relationship skills, community awareness, business etiquette, change/transition management, collaborative conflict resolution, networking skills and more.

The results will be a more vibrant and resourceful community with more competent and skilled young leaders, armed with the knowledge to succeed in life.