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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 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