Community Assistance Program Spotlight

Last semester CAP students Ryan GreenKelly Vicario, Trent Humphrey, Ina Ivanova and Charlton Brownell gave outstanding presentations on their work in the community. We are beyond proud of their achievements this semester, and are truly grateful for the community partners that are working closely with our students.

The City of Charleston Illumination Project

This past semester, CAP students Ina Ivanova and Charlton Brownell worked with the City of Charleston’s Illumination Project. This project was started after the 2015 Mother Emmanuel AME church shootings in order to improve the relationships between the Charleston Police Department and the communities they serve.

In their first task, Charlton and Ina attended a listening session held in the Eastside neighborhood in early September. This session was convened by the Director of the Illumination Project, Dr. Kylon Middleton, Police Chief Luther Reynolds, and the City’s first Director of Diversity, Racial Conciliation, and Tolerance, Amber Johnson. The students then organized and categorized comments made by citizens and suggested near-term feasible action items that the City and community could reasonably accomplish. Moving forward, Charlton and Ina will be meeting with two members of the Mayor’s senior advisory team, as well as several Department heads regarding the implementation of these items.

Beaufort County Regional Economic Scorecard

CAP students Ryan Green and Kelly Vicario worked to synthesize data for Beaufort County to update and improve their current scorecard report. A regional economic scorecard is used by companies and the public to capture a snapshot of the community. The information provided on a scorecard or a county report allows consumers to understand the livability of a community and is a useful tool when deciding to look for a location to call home.

The report encompasses areas such as Environmental, Health and Social Wellbeing Indicators; which each present five characteristics. For example, a characteristic for the Environmental Indicator would be air quality and based on the research, the community will understand the health of their environment. Members of a community can access this information and learn about how to better their community. This partnership aims to promote Beaufort County and indicate areas of improvement.

Carolinas College Hunger Summit

CAP student Trent Humphrey attended the Carolinas College Hunger Summit at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro. The summit included colleges, universities, and food banks in the Carolinas who work to counter food insecurity on college campuses. Food insecurity is a growing problem on college campuses; college estimate 20%-40% of the student body experiences food insecurity. The College of Charleston estimates 30% of the student body experience food insecurity.

Trent organized outreach to students to promote interest in attending. The next goal after the summit is to do a comprehensive evaluation of the food security efforts at the College of Charleston to assess what they do well and where they can improve. The College of Charleston has had a diverse range of responses to combat food insecurity on campus, such as: free meal swipe programs, Office of Sustainability initiatives, excess food distribution, the Cougar Pantry, and free meals from student organizations. The overall goal of this initiative is to coordinate campus efforts and measure their impact.

 

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