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Emerging Public Leaders Class of 2018-19

The Emerging Public Leaders 2018-19
June 17 - 22, 2018

The Riley Institute at Furman welcomed the 2018-19 Emerging Public Leaders (EPL) to Furman's campus June 17-22, 2018 for a week filled with activities and opportunities to learn about public leadership.

Sixteen rising high school seniors from across South Carolina have been accepted for EPL's 16th class, bringing the total number of students who have participated in the program to 249. For the Schedule of Activities, click here.

To view the 2018-19 EPL participant's proposed projects, click here or you may click on the student's name below to view their proposed project.

Welcome the 2018-19 student participants:

Bayan Abunijem, Greenville Tech Charter High School, Greenville, SC
Reilly Arford, Ridge View High School, Columbia, SC
Madison Brawley, Strom Thurmond High School, Johnston, SC
Claire Derakhshan, West Florence High School, Florence, SC
Olivia Dozier, Dreher High School, Columbia, SC
Lauren Garrison, River Bluff High School, Lexington, SC
Lillian Holland, Porter-Gaud School, Charleston, SC
Andrea Kimpson, Richland Northeast High School, Columbia, SC
Arnav Lal, Home School, Greer, SC
Henry Lear, Southside High School, Greenville, SC
Elliot Marron, Greenville High School, Greenville, SC
Blanton Newman, J.L. Mann High School, Greenville, SC
Olivia Reichenbach, Hilton Head Christian Academy, Hilton Head, SC
Lily Rowan, Myrtle Beach High School, Myrtle Beach, SC
Cate Tedford, Nation Ford High School, Fort Mill, SC
Mae Webster, Spartanburg Day School, Spartanburg, SC

While the students were on Furman University’s campus, they investigated 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, Walmart and John and Emilie Pazden, 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 May 18, 2019, the Riley Institute at Furman University welcomed back its 2018-19 class of Emerging Public Leaders. 

Each EPL participant presented their community service project to a panel of judges. This year's judges included Cindy Riyad (former EPL participant 2002-03 and Director of Graduate Medical Education, Prisma Health–Upstate), David McDonald (Greenville County Schools), and Meliah Bowers Jefferson (Wyche Law Firm).

Congratulations to all of our 2018-2019 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.

The following are the award winners:

First Place Winner

Blanton Newman, J.L. Mann High School, Greenville, SC (received $1,000)
Blanton organized a “Festival of Friendship” to bring together the “abled” and “differently abled” in the Greenville community which took place on Sunday, April 7,2019 at J. L. Mann High School. The proceeds from the event benefitted the J.L. Mann S.P.E.C.I.A.L.S. program. 

Second Place Winner

Bayan Abunijem, Greenville Tech Charter High School, Greenville, SC (received $600)
Abunijem organized two self-defense workshops to raise awareness about domestic violence in South Carolina and help women achieve certainty in their ability to protect themselves. The events were open to the public and targeted female college and high school students. 

Third Place Winners

Andrea Kimpson, Richland Northeast High School, Columbia, SC, tied for Third Place (received $350)
Kimpson’s Midlands Postcard Project aims to educate, inspire, and engage younger generations of Midlands residents to know the Columbia area and its fascinating African American history. 

Olivia Reichenbach, Hilton Head Christian Academy, Hilton Head, SC, tied for Third Place (received $350)
Reichenbach organized organized a group of juniors and seniors with three or more years of Spanish language classes from Hilton Head Christian Academy called “Planting Seeds.” The group tutors native-Spanish-speaking, elementary and middle school students in English, Science, and Math. 

Honorable Mentions

Lauren Garrison, River Bluff High School, Lexington, SC
Garrison’s project helps senior citizens who cannot afford their pets. She implemented a two-part service project to support Paw Pals, a program run by the South Carolina Office on Aging, which provides pet food at no cost to qualifying senior citizens.

Lillian Holland, Porter-Gaud School, Charleston, SC
Holland created “Cookies and Karaoke,” a project which helped elderly people who suffer from cognitive illnesses enhance their cerebral aptitudes.

Reilly Arford, Ridge View High School, Columbia, SC
Arford increased the awareness of human trafficking in the state of South Carolina by speaking with members of his local government.  


Press Coverage

Bayan Abunijem, a senior at Greenville Tech Charter High School in Greenville, has organized a self-defense workshop to help lower domestic violence rates in South Carolina. Read more

Blanton Newman, a senior at J.L. Mann High School in Greenville, has organized a “Festival of Friendship” to bring together the “abled” and “differently abled” in our community. Read more

Winners and awards of the 2018-19 EPL class are announced. Read more