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Emerging Public Leaders Class of 2017-18

The Emerging Public Leaders 2017-18
June 18 - 23, 2017

The Riley Institute at Furman will welcome the 2017-18 Emerging Public Leaders (EPL) to Furman's campus June 18-23, 2017 for a week filled with activities and opportunities to learn about public leadership.

Eighteen rising high school seniors from across South Carolina have been accepted for EPL's 15th class, bringing the total number of students who have participated in the program to 228. For the Schedule of Activities, click here.

2017-18 Emerging Public Leaders Students 

To view student project descriptions, click on their name. 

Jennie Allen, Union County High School, Union
Mitchell Beard, Mauldin High School, Simpsonville
Jackson Bingham, Dorman High School, Spartanburg
Vinita Cheepurupalli, Spring Valley High School, Columbia
Erica Daly, Fort Mill High School, Tega Cay
Kirsten Fisher, Wilson Hall, Sumter
Farehaa Hussain, Riverside High School, Greer
Vivian Karamitros, Clover High School, Clover
Avi Mahoney, Strom Thurmond High School, Johnston
Ronak Malde, Southside High School, Greenville
Ellery McNeil, Carolina High School, Greenville
Melody Moorehead, Hannah-Pamplico High School, Pamplico
Olivia Nelli, JL Mann High School, Greenville
Tejas Patel, Cougar New Tech, Walterboro
Mary Laurel Patrick, Greenville Sr. High Academy, Greenville
Manning Snyder, Porter Gaud, Charleston
Queen Trapp, Ridge View High School, Columbia
Duncan Winburn, Westwood High School, Columbia

While students are on Furman University’s campus, they will investigate topics such as engaging in the community, analyzing critical issues, practicing ethical leadership, developing communication and presentation skills, and planning for the implementation of a service project. Thanks to generous sponsors including Cox Industries, State Farm, and Walmart, students attend free of charge.

Following the summer, students work with Riley Institute staff, school officials, and residents in their communities to more fully develop their service project ideas and subsequently implement projects that reflect a need and address diversity in their communities.

The students return to campus the following spring to present their community service projects to a panel of judges, and the winning project receives funds for program expansion or replication. 


EPL students return to campus for presentations

On April 28, 2018, The Riley Institute at Furman University welcomed back its 2017-18 class of Emerging Public Leaders. 

Each EPL participant must present their community service project to a panel of judges. This year's judges included Tre’dessa Gore (former EPL winner and current Furman student), David McDonald (Greenville County Schools), Lud Weaver (pastor Westminster Presbyterian) and Meliah Bowers Jefferson (Wyche Law Firm).

Congratulations to all of our 2017-2018 EPL participants for their dedication, hard work and enthusiasm!
Each service project was exemplary and it was difficult to decide which projects should receive additional funding to continue their work. Each student worked hard and used his or her passion to create and lead a service project that changed other’s lives and made South Carolina a better place to live.

For a description of the 2017 EPL Class projects, click here.

The following are the award winners:

First Place Winner

Jennie Allen, Union County High School, Union, SC received a $500 award.

Second Place Winner

Duncan Winburn, Westwood High School, Blythewood, SC received a $300 award

Third Place Winner

Mary Laurel Patrick, Greenville Senior High Academy, Greenville, SC received a $200 award

Honorable Mention (each received an award of $100)

Erica Daly, Fort Mill High School, Tega Cay, SC

Farehaa Hussain, Riverside High School, Greer, SC

Manning Snyder, Porter Gaud, Charleston, SC

Press Coverage

2017-18 Emerging Public Leaders award winners. Furman University Press Release

Duncan Winburn, a senior at Westwood High School in Columbia, has founded “Star Day,” a program that celebrates special education students and the arts. Winburn, a fine arts student with cerebral palsy, led Star Day Friday, December 1 at Westwood High School. For the article in its entirety, Columbia Star

Erica Daly, a senior at Fort Mill High School, is working toward closing the gender gap in public office positions. For the article in its entirely, Furman University Press Release