Initiated by the collective thinking of leaders from Presbyterian College and the Laurens County, S.C. community, CHAMPS (Communities Helping, Assisting, and Motivating Promising Students) brings together local institutions and the community to find a fresh solution to a persistent education problem.
The CHAMPS mission is to nurture, motivate, and challenge students who have the potential but who otherwise may fall short of their highest educational capability. CHAMPS provides promising students with a vision of their future and stimulates them to strive toward post-secondary education.
The CHAMPS program accepts 30 rising 7th-grade students annually. Students follow a stringent application process that begins at their school and channels to the CHAMPS office for final selection by the Student Selection Committee. Once selected for the CHAMPS program, the rising 7th-grade students and parents sign on to a 6-year commitment. Through CHAMPS, students are given opportunities to serve the community in addition to academic, social, and spiritual engagements.
Carefully selected mainly from the Presbyterian college student body, CHAMPS mentors serve as a role model for the CHAMPS students and assist them in the development of self-esteem, self-discipline, teamwork, and principled living. The mentors play a vital role in the CHAMPS program.
Parents play an active role in the CHAMPS program through the Parents Council and Fathers Council. The councils assist the CHAMPS office in planning and implementing monthly programs and other events that promote the mission of the program.
CHAMPS teachers are selected from Laurens County School Districts 55 and 56 to teach hands-on classes during the summer program. Presbyterian College professors and their students donate their time and expertise to design and offer an academic workshop for CHAMPS students as a part of the monthly academic programs. The college professors are from the science departments, English, ROTC, Art, Music, Athletics, Psychology, and Education.
CHAMPS is a product of collective thinking. Education, business, and church leaders from the Laurens County (SC) community came together at Presbyterian College with the leadership of the college president to discuss the seriousness of the education issues in the county. Eighteen months later, CHAMPS was inaugurated in 1995 as a partnership between Presbyterian College, Laurens School Districts 55 and 56, churches, businesses, and county citizens. Today this partnership stands as an adhesive force that brings together the resources and expertise of our community for the education of our students.
CHAMPS relies on all the partners to sustain it. In addition to financial and in-kind contributions, businesses support CHAMPS by providing students with opportunities to experience the workplace. Churches contribute financially and are heavily involved in leading worship services during the summer residential program and they bring exceedingly good snacks. The school districts provide transportation, financial support, and staff for both the academic year and summer programs. Caring individuals from the community (and beyond) join with businesses, churches, school districts, and PC to finance the CHAMPS program. Many speakers from the community share their thoughts and experiences during the summer program.
Each gift to CHAMPS brings opportunities for 7th through 12th graders in Laurens County to aspire to post-secondary education. CHAMPS students have the ability but may lack the necessary resources to perceive themselves as achieving education past high school.
By contributing to CHAMPS, you help make it possible for Laurens County, SC, students to achieve their educational dreams and become future leaders in the community.
Gifts may be made to:
503 S. Broad St.
Clinton, SC 29325
For more information, contact the CHAMPS office at 864-833-8476.
A Coordinating Team drawn from Presbyterian College and the Laurens county community supports Presbyterian College in its CHAMPS program.The Coordinating Team is comprised of the following:
Teacher Coordinator – Erica Cummins
11th & 12th Grade Coordinator – Rev. Racquel Gill
Program Coordinator – Susanne McCarley