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STANDUP—Speaking Truth and Understanding People

(l-r) Chris Story, Ralph Sweeney, Babette Jones, Kathy Lyles,
Linda Brees, Mellone Long, Howard Boyd, James Walker

STANDUP’s goal is to attempt to broaden the horizons of the Upstate’s most challenged youth by connecting them to opportunities for interaction with successful adults and exposure to future possibilities. Based on the belief that among the many challenges facing too many of our youth is a lack of exposure to successful paths forward, we recognize that a successful and stable career may indeed seem out of reach to those youth who have little to no opportunity to meet and interact with participants in various career paths and witness the options available to them. We believe that while there are numerous enrichment opportunities available to Upstate youth, all too often those essential opportunities do not reach those in greatest need. will provide a simple, quick, and efficient connecting point between those who work with at-risk youth and what we hope will be an extensive list of local businesses, organizations, and individuals willing to open their doors to youth and share some of their time. Team members, listed below, are calling upon their peers in all sectors across the Upstate to fill out the short commitment form (attached and available online) describing what mechanisms of exposure suit their circumstances. Youth service providers will then be able to search an online database at and utilize the site to contact the volunteers and organizations. Through the ease and convenience of a centralized connection point, we believe these essential interactions will become more frequent and our most challenged youth will come to believe that a stable and successful career and productive adulthood is well within their grasp. Visit the group's website.