Dr. John Stockwell Recipient of the 2017 Cradle to Career Champion Award by StriveTogether

The Spartanburg County Foundation congratulates Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. John Stockwell on winning the 2017 Cradle to Career Champion Award!

CINCINNATI, OHIO — After 17 years as chancellor at the University of South Carolina Upstate, John Stockwell joined an effort to pursue high levels of academic achievement for children in Spartanburg County. His long focus on helping kids succeed is why he has been selected for the Bill Henningsgaard Cradle to Career Champion Award by StriveTogether, a national nonprofit organization working to improve education for every child.

At its eighth annual Cradle to Career Network Convening, StriveTogether today announced Stockwell as the 2017 award recipient. Stockwell is executive director of Spartanburg Academic Movement, a partnership of schools and colleges, businesses, governments, foundations, faith communities and individuals across the county.

“I feel deeply honored to receive this award,” Stockwell said. “Spartanburg Academic Movement, like many communities across the nation, owes a big thanks to StriveTogether for its approach and guidance on getting better results for every child. But I’m even more thankful for our teachers and school leaders with their unwavering dedication to our kids. Uniting the community alongside these gifted people is the honor of a lifetime.”

Stockwell has built strong cross-sector partnerships and secured a countywide commitment to data-driven action. Under his leadership, Spartanburg Academic Movement facilitated better data use by piloting the Early Development Instrument to measure kindergarten readiness in one school district. Through an unprecedented data-sharing agreement among the county’s seven school districts, the EDI now will be used countywide.

“Throughout his career, John has embodied the dedicated spirit and commitment to excellence that truly enables this work to improve outcomes for kids,” StriveTogether Interim CEO Jennifer Blatz said. “As a testament to how he truly mobilizes a community, all seven school superintendents in the county nominated him together for our award. John’s tireless advocacy and support, coupled with exceptional and energetic leadership, has enabled a vision of a few to become the shared vision of many.”

Prior to the University of South Carolina Upstate, Stockwell held other higher education positions in California, Indiana, New York and Wisconsin. He has served in numerous volunteer civic capacities in the county, including the founding board chair of the Spartanburg Chapter of the Urban League of the Upstate; the board member and chair of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, the Children’s Services Alliances and the College Hub; and a current trustee of the Spartanburg County Foundation.

Named after one of the earliest and staunchest champions of our work, the Bill Henningsgaard Cradle to Career Champion Award annually recognizes a local advocate from the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network. Bill Henningsgaard united partners around a common vision for helping every child succeed through Eastside Pathways, a cradle-to-career partnership in Bellevue, Wash.

The award is given annually to an individual who embodies the passion and persistence modeled by Bill every day in his local work and in the broader collective impact field. Past winners include Mary Jean Ryan (the Road Map Project); Dan Ryan (All Hands Raised); Greg Landsman (StrivePartnership); and Scott and Anne Jones (Every Hand Joined).

About StriveTogether

StriveTogether is a national nonprofit working to improve education for every child. We coach and connect partners in more than 70 communities and work together to get better results. Communities using our approach have seen measurable gains in kindergarten readiness, academic achievement and postsecondary success. The StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network reaches 8.2 million students, involves 10,800 organizations and has partners in 32 states and Washington, D.C.

Spartanburg County Selected to Participate in MDC’s Network for Southern Economic Mobility

October 6, 2017

Spartanburg County is one of four Southern communities that are taking on the challenge of improving economic mobility for youth and young adults.  The Spartanburg County Foundation has been selected to participate in the second cohort of MDC’s Network for Southern Economic Mobility that is focused on creating opportunities for youth and young adults in the lowest income bracket.  MDC, an organization that has worked for more than 50 years to help communities across the south close the gaps that separate people from opportunity, is facilitating this network for four communities in the region.

In addition to Spartanburg County, Fayetteville, N.C.; Little Rock, Ark.; and Savannah, Ga., will receive customized coaching and technical assistance, and hear from experts in institutional and governmental systems change. They will have the opportunity to work together and share their insights into what works—and what doesn’t—as they strive to eliminate the barriers that keep a high percentage of low-income young people from rising into the middle class. The new communities join Athens, Ga.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Greenville, S.C.; and Jacksonville, Fla., which are entering their second year in the network.

“The first cohort of cities has made great strides in lifting up the economic mobility imperative, grappling with difficult data, and identifying key intervention points in their local talent development systems,” said David Dodson, president of MDC. “Like their predecessors, this new cohort has shown the desire and capacity to do the work and address the challenge.”

“The Spartanburg County Foundation is excited to serve as the lead convener and facilitator for Spartanburg County,” states Troy Hanna, President and CEO of The Spartanburg County Foundation.  “There are many strong collaborative initiatives in our community, and it will be imperative to partner with those initiatives and to serve as the common thread that ties each one back to this issue of economic mobility.”

The Spartanburg County Foundation has established a leadership team to participate in the cohort and will be forming a larger team of diverse community leaders to assist with the overall project.

The problem, as spelled out in MDC’s State of the South Report “Building an Infrastructure of Opportunity for the next generation,” is that it is harder in the South than anywhere in the U.S. for young people in the poorest households to move up the economic ladder as adults. Southern communities that are top-rated as places to do business also are among the places with the highest ratings of inequality and lowest rankings for economic mobility, the report found. While education beyond high school is the best indicator for getting a job that pays family-sustaining wages, fewer


unities in the Network for Southern Economic Mobility have shown a commitment to helping marginalized young people, a foundation of promising programs on which to build, the presence of industries with career potential for young people, and top leaders who see the connection between economic mobility and the long-term health of their economy.

Core support for the Network is provided by the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and other philanthropic investors. Communities are contributing a participation fee to support a portion of on-site technical assistance, coaching visits, and annual conferences.
“Across the South, our experiences have shown us people and organizations who align their efforts make greater and more enduring progress toward shared goals like creating opportunity and fostering economic mobility,” said Gladys Washington, deputy director of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation.

Network communities bring together leaders from each community in business, government, education, nonprofits, and philanthropy to examine how well their existing systems are reaching those young people facing the most difficult barriers to advancement; analyze the policies, systems, and culture that impede their progression; and adapt or build the pathways that connect institutions and social supports, from school to rewarding employment. At the end of their initial two-year commitment, network communities will be expected to have:
• detailed systems and data analyses of those youth in the lowest income brackets and a clear understanding of the principal barriers to their economic mobility
• a diverse leadership group equipped to challenge institutional inequities and implement an action plan that leverages changes in the local talent development system so that it better serves the needs of both young people and employers, and so that it accelerates youth mobility efforts
• a set of priorities to build stronger organizations with the capacity to refine existing programs, aggregate and realign resources, and spur innovation
• a cross-region peer group of leaders working together on a cutting edge issue of national significance
“We can’t have a society where only exceptions succeed or where so much is left to the luck of the draw—especially when the deck is so often stacked against those who need the uplift of mobility the most,” Dodson said. “We must be about changing the odds, not expecting people to beat the odds.”


About The Spartanburg County Foundation
The Spartanburg County Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of Spartanburg County residents by promoting philanthropy, encouraging community engagement and responding to community needs. Established in 1943, The Spartanburg County Foundation is the oldest community foundation in South Carolina. Additional information about the Foundation is available at www.spcf.org.

About MDC
MDC brings together foundations, nonprofits, and leaders from government, business, and the grassroots to illuminate data that highlight deeply rooted Southern challenges and help them find systemic, community solutions. Our approach, developed over 50 years, uses research, consensus-building, and programs that connect education, employment, and economic security to help communities foster prosperity by creating an “Infrastructure of Opportunity”—the aligned systems and supports that can boost everyone, particularly those who’ve been left behind, to higher rungs on the economic ladder.

Foundation Seeking Proposals for 2017 Thanksgiving Service Grant

Thanksgiving Service

The Spartanburg Interfaith Alliance is a network of clergy, lay leaders, and faith communities joining together for the purpose of contributing to the common good. The Alliance was formed as a partnership between area clergy and The Spartanburg County Foundation in 2014. The 2017 Spartanburg Community Thanksgiving Service, sponsored by the Spartanburg Interfaith Alliance and The Spartanburg County Foundation, is an opportunity for people to gather together in celebration and gratitude. This annual event brings together clergy from numerous faith communities, and is open to everyone.
This year, the Spartanburg Community Thanksgiving Service will be Tuesday, November 21, 2017, at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church (445 South Church Street, Spartanburg). The service will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Compassion Grant Application The Spartanburg County Foundation matches the Community Thanksgiving Service offering plate up to $5,000, and all proceeds are donated to a named charitable organization identified each year by the clergy. To apply for funding from the Spartanburg Community Thanksgiving Service, please complete the Compassion Grant Application through the Foundation’s online grant portal (www.spcf.org) following the guidelines stated below.

Eligibility
Organizations eligible to apply for the Spartanburg Community Thanksgiving Service funding must have annual budgets not exceeding $500,000 and provide services in one of the following areas: 
– Family Services 
– Food, Hunger & Shelter 
– Health Services 
– At-risk Youth
Grant requests should support direct services (i.e. implementing programs and outreach efforts). Priority will be given to organizations that can clearly demonstrate how the project will benefit the residents of Spartanburg County.
Note: Organizations that have received the Spartanburg Community Thanksgiving Service offering in the past five years are not eligible to apply.

Process
The funds donated at the Spartanburg Community Thanksgiving Service and the matching funds from The Spartanburg County Foundation are given to a local nonprofit organization chosen by a special committee of Spartanburg County clergy.

Apply Online
Organizations interested in applying must complete the online Compassion Grant Application.  Applications must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 18, 2017.  Please click on the link below to apply now.

 APPLY NOW

Questions
For more information, please contact Ashley Whitt, grants manager, at (864) 582.0138 or awhitt@spcf.org.

Sponsorship Image for Website

Spartanburg County Criminal Justice Youth Institute is NOW Accepting Applications!

The Spartanburg County Criminal Justice Youth Institute is accepting applications for the 2018 Youth Institute. Through a dynamic collaboration, The Spartanburg County Clerk of Court and The Spartanburg County Foundation are able to present a second year of educating and mentoring youth through the Criminal Justice system. The inaugural year was a great success and we look forward to continuing the work from the previous class.

This four-month leadership training program is designed to introduce Spartanburg County 11th-12th graders to the criminal justice system to help them gain a deeper understanding of the inner-workings of the system, eliminate misconceptions, build long-lasting partnerships between youth and criminal justice officials, and empower Spartanburg County youth to become positive contributors and leaders in our community.

Participation is open to any 11th-12th grader that attends a Spartanburg County public, private, or home school. Forty-five students, including representatives from each of the seven Spartanburg County School Districts will be selected to participate. Participants come from diverse cultures and backgrounds with a desire to learn more about the Criminal Justice System and be a leader in his/her community.

Students will be selected to participate based on the following criteria:
• Must be a high school junior or senior attending a Spartanburg County public, private, or home school
• Have an interest in learning more about the Criminal Justice System
• Be willing to commit to help build long-lasting partnerships with criminal justice officials and be an advocate for making positive choices
• Have a desire to positively change their communities
• Academic merits and school involvement should not be a determining factor; rather, the Institute hopes to engage students of varying involvements, backgrounds, socioeconomic levels, and academic achievements
• Would benefit from learning more about the criminal justice system as well as the consequences of poor choices
• Must be committed to attending the opening retreat, all sessions, and the graduation ceremony

The Institute begins in January with an opening retreat that provides an opportunity for participants to connect with one another in an informal setting and hear from an inspirational leader. Sessions are held January – April, one week day per month, from 8:30am – 12:30pm. A graduation ceremony is held in May.

Individuals interested in applying for the Institute can go to 2018 Criminal Justice Youth Institute Application final 110316 and complete the form. For all other questions, please contact Valerie Sullivan, Program Manager, 864.680.5630 or vbsullivan12@gmail.com.

Modeled after The Spartanburg County Foundation’s Grassroots Leadership Development Institute, participants of the Spartanburg County Criminal Justice Youth Institute are equipped with resources and a better understanding of the Criminal Justice System, enabling them to:

• Understand their rights as individuals as well as the consequences of poor decision-making
• Be a resource for other youth who have questions about the inner-workings of the Criminal Justice System
• Share their knowledge with others about the importance of making positive choices
• Help dispel any misconceptions
• Form long-lasting relationships and partnerships with criminal justice officials
• Further explore a career within the Criminal Justice System
• Assume individual and collective responsibility for positive change in their communities

Grassroots Leaders Embark on Journey to Create Community Change

Grassroots Leaders Embark on Journey to Create Community Change

The Grassroots Leadership Development Institute (GLDI) graduated twenty-five new community leaders during a ceremony held at The Piedmont Club Tuesday, September 12, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. Graduates, their family members, and community leaders were in attendance during the celebratory event. Since its inception in 2004, nearly 350 individuals have graduated from the Institute and currently serve the community in various leadership roles.

The Grassroots Leadership Development Institute is a seven-month leadership development program designed to equip participants with the knowledge, skill-set, and resources to be effective in leading change throughout the greater Spartanburg County community and beyond. Participants meet one Saturday a month, for seven months, to increase their ability to make a positive difference on the local, regional, and national levels. For the past eleven years, the City of Spartanburg has joined the Foundation as a sponsor by sending several of the City’s local neighborhood leaders through the Institute, thereby increasing their ability to bring about significant change in their neighborhoods.

“This leadership program continues to attract so many quality individuals from across Spartanburg County who have a passion to make Spartanburg better,” said Mary Thomas, chief operating officer of The Spartanburg County Foundation. “The Institute prepares County leaders to take on more roles of responsibility in achieving our goals as a community.”

The 2017 Grassroots Leadership Development Institute graduates are Kim Atchley; Larry Easler; Dr. Gerard Edwards; Joseph Foster; Zaina Greene; April Hepperman; Cartia Higgins; Krystina Hunter; Angela Lindsey; Kenna McLarty-Wilson; Darrell McNeill; Jamie Means; Kirsten Miller; Rita Mims; Aisha Nickerson; Tamika Oden; Miguel Pastrana; Tamika Pollard; Luke Quillen; Lisa Cooley Scott; Natalie Smith; Veronica Taylor; Summer Tebalt; Rhonda Webster; and Christina Wilson.

The Grassroots Leadership Development Institute is now accepting applications for its 2018 session. Individuals can apply online at www.spcf.org. The deadline for applications is Friday, October 13, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. For more information regarding the Institute, please contact Tara Weese, director of grants and initiatives at The Spartanburg County Foundation, at (864) 582.0138.

The Spartanburg County Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of Spartanburg County residents by promoting philanthropy, encouraging community engagement and responding to community needs. Established in 1943, The Spartanburg County Foundation is the oldest community foundation in South Carolina. Additional information about the Foundation is available at www.spcf.org.

The Foundation is Now Accepting Applications for its Grassroots Leadership Development Institute!

Are you interested in building your resources and skills to be a more effective leader in your community?  The Spartanburg County Foundation is currently accepting applications for its 2018 Grassroots Leadership Development Institute.

Each year, approximately 30 individuals are selected to participate in the seven-month leadership development program designed to equip participants with the knowledge, skill-set, and resources to be effective in leading change throughout the greater Spartanburg County community and beyond.  Participants meet one Saturday a month, March – August, to increase their ability to make a positive difference on the local, regional, and national levels.   Since its inception in 2004, over 300 individuals have graduated from the Institute and currently serve the community in various leadership roles.

Grassroots Leadership Development Institute participants are equipped with a solid skill-set that better enables them to:

  • Lead community improvement throughout the city, county, state, and nation
  • Increase levels of communication and understanding between grassroots individuals and mainstream leaders
  • Effectively organize people for positive outcomes
  • Think strategically to create innovative solutions to address community needs
  • Serve on non-profit and for-profit boards
  • Leverage community assets and resources
  • CLICK HEREto read why Zaina Greene applied to the Grassroots Leadership Development Institute and graduated in 2017.

    In order to be considered for the GLDI Class of 2018, applications must be submitted by Friday, October 13, 2017, 5:00 p.m.

    Apply NOW!

    Learn more about the Grassroots Leadership Development Institute.

    If you have additional questions, please contact Tara Weese, director of grants and initiatives, at tweese@spcf.org.

    (GLDI Class of 2017)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

Kids Can Change the World Back-to-School Pep Rally

Pep Rally Encourages Spartanburg Teens to Pursue Goals

by Chris Lavender, Spartanburg Herald Journal

Former professional athletes shared their life stories with Spartanburg teens Friday and offered them advice as they get ready to head back to school next week.

Former NBA player George Singleton of Kershaw and former Union High School two-sport standout Roscoe Crosby were among the invited guests at a pep rally at C.C. Woodson Community Center sponsored by the Spartanburg County Foundation and Spartanburg Parks and Recreation.

After a successful collegiate sports career at Furman University, Singleton was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the third round of the 1984 draft. He played with a number of NBA stars throughout his career.

“I grew up in a very small town and very early in life I realized there were things that were vital and important to be successful, and one is your attitude,” Singleton said. “Your attitude will determine a lot.”

Singleton encouraged the teens to find careers that they are passionate about and to follow the advice of their parents and teachers.

Crosby starred in football and baseball at Union High School. In 2001, he signed to play football at Clemson University and was a second-round draft pick of the Kansas City Royals, signing a $1.7 million contract.

He spent the 2005 season on the Indianapolis Colts’ practice squad and tried out with the Texas Rangers in 2007.

But Crosby never played a professional game. He struggled after the death of his younger brother, and was sidelined for a season of college football by elbow surgery.

Still, Crosby said he remained determined to realize his dreams. He encouraged the teenagers to remain persistent in pursuing their goals.

“Never give up,” Crosby said. “No matter what, no matter what you are facing in life. Never give up and keep pushing. You can do whatever you set your mind to.”

Spartanburg Day School student Adom Appiah shared how he turned his passion for both sports and philanthropy into helping nonprofit organizations in Spartanburg County. He founded the charity Ball4Good, and recently wrote a book, “Kids Can Change the World.”

“Find a way to make a difference in the community using your talents,” he said. “You will be the leaders of tomorrow and don’t be scared to mess up.”

Join Us This Friday…

Kids Can Change the World Back-To-School Pep Rally

Youth Ages 13-17
Friday, August 11, 2017
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
CC Woodson Community Center
210 Bomar Avenue, Spartanburg

 

New Website Maps Local Waterways

A new website is offering outdoor enthusiasts information on how to better navigate waterways across South Carolina.

Upstate Forever has launched Paddle SC, www.gopaddlesc.com. The website will be updated with additional content on a regular basis and currently includes descriptions of 63 waterways, 108 trip listings, 390 points of interest and 612 river accesses, along with resources to help paddlers navigate coastal tides and river flow gauges.

The nonprofit organization also released new waterproof maps for the Broad and Twelve Mile rivers on Wednesday. The maps are available free of charge at Upstate Forever’s Greenville and Spartanburg offices, local bookstores and local outdoor outfitters. Downloadable maps are also available at www.upstateforever.org and the Paddle SC website.

The Paddle SC website is a part of Upstate Forever’s four-year “Reconnecting People to Rivers” initiative and was developed in partnership with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, the S.C. National Heritage Corridor and Palmetto Conservation.

New tech hub to provide resources for Highland residents

New tech hub to provide resources for Highland residents
Alyssa Mulliger Staff Writer @AMulligerSHJ

A plan to provide residents in Spartanburg’s Highland community with life skills, job training and other resources became a reality Wednesday.

The new “Innovation Village” technology hub has launched at the Bethlehem Center on Highland Avenue, giving residents access to more than two dozen computer workstations for workforce readiness and academic enrichment.

“In the Highland community, we’re looking for opportunities to help people with upward mobility, self-sufficiency and to earn a livable wage,” said Patrena Mims, executive director of the Bethlehem Center. “In order to do that, you need skills to move that needle to the next phase.”

Area organizations behind the Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light “Video Village” art installation, including White Elephant Enterprises and hub-ology, were able to create the new technology hub with help from a Spartanburg County Foundation grant.

White Elephant Enterprises repurposed the small Raspberry Pi computers and equipment when the Video Village ended at Cammie Clagett Courts.

The city of Spartanburg will be using state funds to demolish some of the vacant apartments this year.

Of the 52 computers, 25 are in the Innovation Village, three are in the Bethlehem Center’s media arts laboratory and five were given to the Thornton Activity Center, also located in Highland. The remaining computers will be assembled into a fast supercomputer at the Bethlehem Center.

“We’re going to offer workshops on coding, technology, web design and how to use computers,” said Robyn Hussa Farrell, co-founder of White Elephant Enterprises. “It’s just a testament to the power of the community and the strength of this community in Spartanburg.”

The Innovation Village is aimed to not only benefit adults, but also teenagers and young children, many of whom helped assemble the computer workstations with the help of Spartanburg-based Hub City Bees on Wednesday.

“It feels like I’m some type of tech genius,” said Sonny Cheeks, 16, a student at Spartanburg High School who helped put one of the computers together. “I’ve never felt this way before with a computer and it’s nice to see everything new. I’ll probably use the computers for school research.”

Khailk Harris, 10, a student at Pine Street Elementary, helped Cheeks assemble the computer and said he likes coming to the Bethlehem Center for after-school activities.

“I can use (the computers) to look up stuff for school,” Harris said.

Leroy Jeter, president of the Highland Neighborhood Association, who was instrumental in compiling interviews and videos for the Video Village project, said the new technology hub will help further the mission of bringing the community together through ongoing training at the Bethlehem Center.

“We’re going to start with the neighborhood association and learn all we can about the computers and how to program things so we can then teach other people,” Jeter said. “For me, I think there’s a possibility that this can help lead to better jobs for people.”

goupstate.com/news/20170628/new-tech-hub-to-provide-resources-for-highland-residents