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Upstate Class XIX Spring 2015

Upstate Class XIX Spring 2015

View the participants from this class.

C.O.P.S. - Changing Our Perspectives

The headlines are rife with stories of violent encounters between law enforcement and the African American community.  C.O.P.S. quickly saw an opportunity (duty may better describe the team’s feelings) to address this disturbing trend while it was in the forefront of everyone’s thoughts. This group believes one way to curtail the violence is to change the perspectives of law enforcement officers and middle school youth of color by having them engage in meaningful activities together. 

Picture Perfect

Flashes of Hope is a volunteer-driven organization focused on children’s cancer, and children with life-threatening illnesses. Through partnerships with hospitals and camps serving children with life-threatening illnesses, Flashes of Hope brings in professional photographers to take photographic portraits of children and their families.  The photo sessions, with professional photographers and make-up artists, provide a temporary reprieve from the stress associated with treatment.

STARTS (Serenity Through the Arts)

STARTS, or Serenity Through the Arts, aims to connect Serenity Place with Converse College to create a sustainable art therapy program. Serenity Place is the residential arm of The Family Effect, a Greenville non-profit that provides rehabilitation for addicted mothers and their children.

Students of art therapy at Converse will incorporate the visual arts, music, and other creative outlets to help mothers and children make progress emotionally and developmentally.

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. 

Second Chancers

The Second Chancers project is working with a local task force to improve opportunities and recidivism rates for reentering citizens (the ex-offender population). High recidivism rates is a national problem that impacts all areas of our society, from local families to our national economy.  Here in South Carolina there are approximately 1.1 million adults (about 1 in 3) with a criminal record.