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Executives pose with ceremonial check
Representatives from CISSC, SC Student Loan, Power:Ed, Richland County School District One, and Lower Richland High School

COLUMBIA, SC – September 22, 2023 — Communities In Schools of South Carolina (CISSC), has been awarded a $90,000 grant from Power:Ed, the philanthropy of SC Student Loan Corporation, to sustain the integrated student support programming at Lower Richland High School in Richland County, launch programming at Fairfield Central High School in Fairfield County, and maintain its program commitment to students at St. John’s High School in the Charleston County School District. Each school site will be supported with $30,000 of the grant.

"We are incredibly grateful to Power:Ed for their steadfast support in our mission to empower students across South Carolina. Partnerships like these are instrumental in our vision to not only strengthen our existing programming, but to also deepen our impact and grow into new schools," said President & CEO of Communities In Schools of South Carolina, Jamie Cooper. "Investments like this help students access the resources they need – from food and clothing to career and college preparation."

“Communities In Schools (CIS) has played a significant role in ensuring that our students are prepared to be future-ready. CIS provides our students with resources such as school supplies, clothing, and personal items to be successful. CIS participates in school team meetings like attendance and graduation rate meetings to help achieve our school goals. I genuinely believe that if a student knows that you care about them, they will try their best. Communities In Schools has added additional assistance for Lower Richland High school students,” said Lower Richland High School Principal, Latayna Williams.

“Supporting great organizations in rural and underserved communities across SC is at the heart of what we do. Power:Ed is so pleased to once again support CISSC’s efforts to help the most vulnerable students and build a pipeline of skilled talent for our state,” said Power:Ed Executive Director, Claire Gibbons. 

In FY2023-24 Power:Ed will award $1,000,000 in grants to South Carolina education and career readiness organizations. In this first quarter, Power:Ed has awarded nine grants (including this grant to CISSC) totaling $265,000. Grants are administered quarterly, and the next grant funding deadline is October 1, 2023.

[Photo enclosure caption]: Pictured L to R: Dr. Patrick Bryant, CISSC Site Coordinator at Lower Richland High School; Destra Capers, SC Student Loan Director of Outreach; Kizzie Mabry-Thomas, CISSC Regional Director of Programming; Latayna Williams, Lower Richland High School Principal; Jamie Cooper, CISSC President & CEO; Deborah Boone, Richland County School District One PASS Project Coordinator; Dr. Craig Witherspoon, Richland County School District One Superintendent; Claire Gibbons, Power:Ed Executive Director; Amir Abdullah, CISSC Board Member; Barbara Weston, Richland County School District One Board Member and SC Student Loan Board Member; Porter Johnson, CISSC Board Chair; Trey Simon, SC Student Loan President & CEO; Cheryl Harris, Richland County School District One Board Chairwoman.

About Communities in Schools of South Carolina

Communities in Schools of South Carolina works directly with 41 schools across three geographic regions in South Carolina. The organization builds relationships to ensure over 25,500 students receive a quality education. School-based staff partner with teachers to identify challenges students face in the classroom or at home and coordinate with community partners to bring outside resources inside schools, including food, clothing and mental health counseling.

About Power:Ed

Founded in 2019, Power:Ed, a philanthropy of SC Student Loan is dedicated to creating opportunities for South Carolina’s youth and adults by supporting low-income, minority, and first-generation students; improving access to college and degree completion; and creating pathways to quality workforce opportunities. Organizations serving middle school through post-college talent who are interested in applying for a grant or partnering with Power:Ed, should visit

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