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Riley Institute names new class of Emerging Public Leaders

Last updated May 16, 2019

By Tina Underwood

The Riley Institute at Furman University has announced its 2019-2020 class of Emerging Public Leaders (EPL). Launched in 2002 by the Riley Institute, EPL is an intensive, statewide service-oriented leadership program for rising high school seniors.

EPL has accepted 18 rising high school seniors from across South Carolina for its 17th class, bringing the total number of students who have participated in the program to 260.

The 2019-20 Riley Institute Emerging Public Leaders are:

Rund Abdelnabi
Greenville Tech Charter High School

Ashley Anderson
Academic Magnet High School
Mt. Pleasant

Sophie Anderson
Greenville High School

Mackenzie Brady
Ashley Hall

Hunter Bridges
Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School

Douglas Culclasure
Wade Hampton Fine Arts Center

Faith Eberflus
River Bluff High School

Vee Edlund
Oakbrook Prep

Natalie Geiger
Next High School

Nayha Hussain
Riverside High School

Ellis McLarty
Wade Hampton Fine Arts Center

Ariel Meriwether
Strom Thurmond High School

Jennifer Nguyen
Socastee High School
Myrtle Beach

Madison Pollock
Dutch Fork High School

Robert Runnion
JL Mann High School

Dustin Tant
York Prep Academy
Rock Hill

Ellie Toler
Spartanburg Day School

Alecia Williams
Barnwell High School

Students will convene June 16-20 on the Furman campus where they will investigate topics such as engaging in the community, analyzing critical issues, practicing ethical leadership, developing communication and presentation skills, and planning for the implementation of a service project. Thanks to generous sponsors including State Farm, Spinx, Walmart, and the Riley Institute, students attend EPL free of charge.

Following the summer, students work with Riley Institute staff, school officials, and residents in their communities to further develop their service project ideas and implement projects that address diversity and specific needs in their communities.

The students return to campus the following spring to present their community service projects to a panel of judges, and the winning project receives funds for program expansion or replication.

Learn more about the Riley Institute’s Emerging Public Leaders program. Or contact program director Melanie Armstrong at the Riley Institute at 864-294-3546 and

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