September 19, 2016

Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina provides grant to Columbia College P.L.A.C.E. Fellows Program

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina recently provided a $25,000 grant to the P.L.A.C.E. Fellows Program at Columbia College. The P.L.A.C.E. Fellows Program (philanthropy, leadership, and community engagement) competitively selects 10 Columbia College undergraduates each year from the incoming class. This four-year program includes a leadership studies minor, poverty workshops, two paid internships, and opportunities to work with the community in an area that aligns with the students’ interests and field of study.

The foundation has sponsored the P.L.A.C.E. Fellows Program with a $25,000 grant for each of the past four years. The foundation is highly engaged with the program and its fellows, often hosting workshops and meetings.

“The Sisters of Charity Foundation is proud to partner with Columbia College and the P.L.A.C.E. Fellows Program because they mirror our foundation’s mission, vision and core values,” said foundation President Tom Keith. He said he is thrilled with the outcome of the three classes of P.L.A.C.E. Fellows thus far and excited to see what the culmination of four years brings. “During this four-year journey, I have seen these young women demonstrate leadership, compassion, respect, advocacy and an exemplary work ethic.  They are wonderful examples of the next generation of leaders; willing to learn from others and to take the lead to better their communities and the lives of others.”

The P.L.A.C.E. Fellows Program is a collaborative program designed to increase students’ awareness of the impact of philanthropy on community non-profits, to create a comprehensive understanding of complex community issues, to develop program and policy leadership to impact change, and to make a commitment to statewide education.

This summer, Columbia College P.L.A.C.E. Fellows delivered the P.L.A.C.E. Gable Oaks Summer Program, providing a variety of educational and recreational activities for local youth in the Belmont Community in Eau Claire. At the P.L.A.C.E. Gable Oaks Summer Program, fellows and other volunteers lent their skills and expertise to engage the youth in science projects, arts and crafts, reading and math activities, and community building exercises. Learning social skills such as team cooperation, the role of personal responsibility and respect for others are also woven into the Gable Oaks Summer Program experience.  Participants learn about being good citizens of their community and how kindness, respect, empathy, honesty and responsibility are the best ingredients for healthy interpersonal relationships and cooperation.

“Columbia College P.L.A.C.E Fellows Program affords our students the opportunity to align their passions with their academic and career aspirations,” said college President Beth Dinndorf. “Through this distinctive four-year experience, our students identify their personal strengths, confront the realities of poverty and learn to leverage the strengths of the community as they develop into true societal change agents.”

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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