The biggest predictor of test scores and college access in the United States is income. There is a disparity in opportunities that students have access to outside of school, and evidence that this gap is widening. Recognizing this problem in Greenville and that the experiences of each individual in our group positions us to be able to be part of the solution, Out & About: Connecting Kids with Opportunities decided to pursue ways to increase the diversity of opportunities for low-income children in Greenville.
The group connected with leaders of two community organizations that are making great strides in this area. Momentum Bike Clubs grew out of the work of previous DLI classes and has been successful in its mission of positively impacting the development of young people through mentoring relationships by establishing bike clubs in under-served communities. Mill Community Ministries describes itself as a collection of social entrepreneurs working together to unite with God’s vision for individual life change and holistic transformation of under-resourced communities.
DLI members are helping to expand the existing youth program for high school internships by identifying businesses in the West End and Augusta Road area of Greenville that are willing to host summer interns through Mill Community Ministry’s Ally program. The group is also coordinating business and educational tours for Momentum Bike Club members designed to encourage students by showing them a variety of possible career opportunities. Several group members have participated in a ride and lunch with Momentum Bikes and have taken a tour of the Mill Community Ministries greenhouse to better understand how these programs operate and how our assistance can make a difference. Out & About members are discovering that partnership with these organizations is not only connecting the kids with opportunities, but connecting the group members with their community in an enriching way.