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.

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

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.”

Spartanburg Interfaith Alliance

Interfaith Alliance Logo Final
Background
The Spartanburg Community Thanksgiving Service has provided an annual opportunity for people of faith to gather together in celebration and gratitude for over fifteen years. Following the 2013 Service, a group of Foundation staff and clergy met to discuss how the faith community could come together more than once a year. The group researched various faith community networks and formed the Spartanburg Interfaith Alliance in 2014.


The Purpose
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 2016, the Alliance began hosting an annual program of events focused on different community issues and opportunities to connect and serve together. A schedule of Spartanburg Interfaith Alliance Meetings is listed below.


The Goal
The central goal of The Spartanburg Interfaith Alliance is to serve as a resource hub for community engagement and create a network to leverage the faith community and its many assets to meet the needs of the greater Spartanburg County community.


The Compassion Fund
In 2014, the Alliance established The Kirk H. Neely Spartanburg County Compassion Fund to honor the Reverend Dr. Kirk H. Neely for his instrumental work in uniting the faith community to charitably and collectively meet the needs of worthy causes through the offerings collected each year at the Spartanburg Community Thanksgiving Service. The Alliance is currently working to build this fund and has not yet reached the point of awarding grants. Once fully funded, The Compassion Fund will award grants to faith-based and community-based organizations meeting the immediate needs of the poor in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. This access to additional resources will provide the Alliance the opportunity to come together to meet needs in the Spartanburg community. If you would like to contribute to the Compassion Fund, click “Give Now” on the left side of the screen and type in “Compassion Fund.” All contributions are tax-deductible.

 

Are you interested in becoming a part of the Spartanburg Interfaith Alliance?

Join us at any of the 2017 Spartanburg Interfaith Alliance Meetings!  Spartanburg Interfaith Alliance 2017 Schedule

OR

Please click here to download a partnership form and mail it to “Attention: Spartanburg Interfaith Alliance, The Spartanburg County Foundation, 424 E. Kennedy Street, Spartanburg, SC 29302.”  Please call The Spartanburg County Foundation office if you have any questions at (864) 582.0138.