Project Description

Foundation Hosts Metanoia Youth for Spring Break College Tours

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The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina hosted nine civically-minded students from Metanoia’s Youth Entrepreneurship Program, in April 2014, to participate in three days of college tours in Columbia. The College Tours were offered as an outgrowth of the Foundation’s November 2013 Listening Session held in North Charleston with Metanoia students who expressed a desire to be exposed to educational opportunities beyond high school within the State. Metanoia, a current Strategic Grantee located in the Chicora Cherokee community of North Charleston, provides an alternative approach and asset-based community development model focused on strengths. As a movement of people rooted in faith, Metanoia invests in neighborhood assets to build leaders, establish quality housing and generate economic development.

These nine Metanoia high school students visited the campuses of Benedict College, Columbia College and the University of South Carolina, accompanied by Metanoia and Foundation staff. On Tuesday, April 15, 2014, Metanoia students visited Columbia College for their annual SpearsFest day, in which students celebrate their year of service. They then met collectively with Columbia College President Beth Dindorff, the Columbia College PLACE Fellows (Philanthropy, Leadership and Community Engagement), and Alumni and toured the campus. At the conclusion of their visit to Columbia College, the youth toured the South Carolina State House, which for many was the first time they had ever visited the capitol.

On Wednesday, April 16, 2014, their day began at Benedict College with a Spoken Word performance and testimonials by current Benedict students. Since the Metanoia youth also learn entrepreneurship skills, they met with Dean Gerald Smalls, School of Business and Economics, who provided them a special tour of Benedict College’s Business Development Center and the Charlie W. Johnson Stadium.

On Thursday, April 17, 2014, these nine youth visited the University of South Carolina and were given a special tour of the President’s House and gardens by First Lady Patricia Moore-Pastides. While on the University of South Carolina’s campus, they also learned about the Gamecock Guarantee Program, met inspirational author and immigrant entrepreneur Pedro de Abreu, and visited with faculty and students of the College of Social Work’s undergraduate program.

Leading the coordination of these three days of college visits, Foundation Senior Research Director Dr. Stephanie Cooper-Lewter reflected, “Throughout our time together, I saw first-hand the rising hope within each Metanoia youth as they expanded their vision of what was possible in their lives by attending college in the future. Because of the support and connection Metanoia provides, their dreams of being a first-generation college student is well within their reach.”