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COPA Design: Building Communities

Team members: Row 1 (l-r): Tony Taylor, Cortney Easterling, Shauna Galloway-Williams,
Tanaya Latigue, Brad Pochard; Row 2 (l-r): Marshall Pickens, Crystal Ball O’Connor,
Neetu Patel 

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.

“COPA Champions is a program originally created from the mind of Anthony Esquivel, owner of COPA
Indoor Soccer. Mr. Esquivel noticed that a large number of Hispanic youth from the local Berea neighborhood
were coming to COPA to play soccer at his facility. Originally, COPA Champions envisioned becoming
mentors and counselors to any and all students who wanted help pursuing post-secondary education.
COPA Champions' overall objective is to create a sustained post-secondary advisory program for students
in the Berea and Whitehorse Road area of Greenville that uses soccer as the catalyst for helping prepare
them for productive lives beyond high school.”

In partnership with COPA Champions team members, COPA Design is enhancing the COPA facility to more of a community resource center. In addition to the needs identified by COPA Champions, COPA Design will advance the scope by including resources for the entire community in hopes of advancing and educating those who spend time in the facility. 

The outreach of the COPA facility has grown in scope largely due to the needs of the local Hispanic community. Often the entire family attends practices for extended periods while one of the children / sibling(s) practices. We are wanting to impact this time in the facility by offering various resources in a newly established center within the COPA facility focusing on:

  • Education
  • Finance
  • Health, Wellness and Nutrition
  • Law Enforcement
  • Personal Safety

COPA Design is also committed on on-going engagement throughout the year(s) to come to establish a sense of continuity, longevity and stability. The group has secured the services of the following partners to establish and maintain this additional resources center within the facility:

  • Craig Gaulden Davis:                         Architectural renderings and design
  • Greenville Health System:                 Desktop Computers and Internet equipment
  • Williamston Police Department:         Law Enforcement Educational Material
  • Anderson Federal Credit Union:        Personal Finance Educational Material
  • Furman University:                             Higher Education Resources and Financial Aid
  • Julie Valentine Center:                       Health, Wellness, Safety Information
  • BMW:                                                 Resume, Education and Career information
  • Greenville School District:                 Education and Resource Information