Skip to Content

Emerging Public Leaders Class of 2010-11

The Emerging Public Leaders 2010-11
June 20 - 26, 2010

The Riley Institute at Furman welcomed the 2010-11 Emerging Public Leaders (EPL) to Furman's campus June 20 - 26, 2010, for a week filled with activities and opportunities to learn about public leadership.  This year's participants came from Oregon and various high schools throughout South Carolina.

For the Schedule of Activities, click here.

The 2010-11 student participants are:

Amit Bilgi, Southside High School, Greenville, SC
Emily Cinquemani, St. Joseph's School, Greenville, SC
Sarah Katherine DeVenny, Lancaster High School, Lancaster, SC
Caroline Griesedieck, Porter Gaud, Charleston, SC
Stephanny Jimenez, Greenville High School, Greenville, SC
Max Kayton, St. James High School, Myrtle Beach, SC
Hannah Keefer, Pinewood Prepatory School, Summerville, SC
Benjamin Ramsey, Riverside High School, Greer, SC
Sanjana Rao, Jesuit High School, Portland, OR
Kenan Sakarcan, Spring Valley High School, Columbia, SC
Trenton Smith, North Myrtle Beach High, Little River, SC
Ryan Stevens, Belton-Honea Path High School, Honea Path, SC
Joni Ware, Broome High School, Spartanburg, SC

EPL participants 2010-11 comment on their experience: 

“EPL changed my perception of the power of a person. I have always thought of a single person as relatively insignificant but through listening to the speakers, I learned just how much one person can truly do.  This week I really learned just how much public servants do for our country and how they make our lives easier.”

“The EPL program has broadened my perception on leadership. It has presented me with the idea that leaders have to look at all aspects of their community to best decide how to resolve a problem. EPL has shown me that leaders are present in all communities at all ages.”

“The EPL program made me realize more about my community and opened my eyes to the issues that need to be addressed in South Carolina and America. It also showed me that leaders are not just one mold and that there are different ways to approach leadership and public service.”

The EPL program is funded by KnowledgeWorks Foundation with headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Students returned to campus April 1-2, 2011

As a requirement of the EPL program, each student planned, implemented, and presented the results of a public service project. Presentations were judged and criteria included vision, planning, execution, program impact, and presentation skills.

For the Spring Presentation Schedule of Activities, click here; for the suggested presentation outline and presentation guidelines, click here; and for the scoring form that the judges used, click here

This year's judges included —Scott McPherson, a 2005 graduate of Furman University, Erin Mercer taught special education for five years in Anderson and Greenville County School Districts, and Richard Winley, found of Fix The Glue, a creative marketing company that gives back to the communities their clients represent.  This year's guest speaker at the luncheon was Dr. Bob Saul, a Senior Clinical Geneticist at the Greenwood Genetic Center and a graduate of the Riley Institute Diversity Leadership Initiative (Upstate Class X, Fall 2010).  For the Spring Presentation Lunch Program, click here. 

Winners were selected and received a cash prize that they may either: 1) apply to the budget of the project initiated by the student with the goal of continuing and/or enhancing the project; or 2) donate to any partnering organization or other organization in their community with similar mission/goals as the student's project. 

The winners are as follows:

First Prize:  Kenan Sakarcan $1,250
Second Prize:  Emily Cinquemani $1,000
Third Prize:  Hannah Keefer $750
Honorable Mention:  Stephanny Jimenez $100

Accomplishments of the 2010-11 EPL students

Kenan Sakarcan was featured on, Columbia, SC for launching a new program, "Got Warmth?".  His goal was to provide 150 sleeping bags to the homeless in Columbia.  To read more about his project, click here.
Young leader, Joni Ware, unveils ‘Worth the Wait?'  Broome senior spearheads teen abstinence program. To read more about her project, click here.
Sarah Katherine DeVenny was the recipient of the 2011 South Carolina Annual Literacy Leader (ALL) award on September 13, 2011 in Columbia, SC. She was recognized for her EPL project that promoted community collaboration and sustainable reading support in the family literacy arena. ALL was established in 2007 as a part of the University of South Carolina's effort to improve literacy across South Carolina.  Sarah Katherine is the youngest to receive this award. To view her award letter, click here; for more information about the award, click here and here. For photos, view the photo gallery above. 
For a summary of all the participating student projects, click here.

Press Coverage