This past June, the Riley Institute hosted two sessions of Advantage Scholars, each a cohort of 23-25 students. In this three-day program, each cohort of scholars was able to explore in small groups their choice of one of five main current issues (healthcare, the environment, public education, food insecurity, and criminal justice reform) and their intersection with the Greenville community. These sessions and discussions culminated in fun and informational group presentations that each small group presented to  the whole group on the last day. Throughout their three days, students were able to do a deep dive into their current issue, learn from multiple sources, engage in meaningful conversations, expand their perspectives, all while getting to know one another, Furman faculty, and community partners.

Examples of activities that the scholars participated in include:

  • An informal dinner with guests from organizations in the community (including but not limited to Soteria, AccessHealth, Project Host) in small groups
  • A session from a Furman faculty/staff member on recognizing implicit bias
  • A cooking class with Bon Appetit
  • The Seeking Abraham tour of campus to learn about Furman’s history
  • Lunch and games with kids from a local after school program
  • Bus tour of downtown neighborhoods and session about gentrification from Furman faculty and community partners
  • A pool party at the President’s house

Here is the full schedule from the first session of the 2023 Advantage Scholars program.

This TFA slider describes the students journey, a year per slide.

The first night of Advantage Scholars includes a welcome dinner with guests from a variety of organizations around Greenville.

A visit to Falls Park after getting ice cream at Spill the Beans is a fun break in a busy day at Advantage Scholars!

Scholars take a sunset walk around the lake in their free time.

Scholars share their research on climate change and sustainability in a fun presentation at the end of Advantage Scholars.

Scholars take a cooking class and compete to make the best salsa and guacamole, judged by Dr. Davis, the first gentleman of the university.

Scholars have lunch with kids from a local free after-school and summer program, Poe Mill Achievement Center.