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Youth and adults pose with ceremonial big check
Pictured L to R: Power:Ed Executive Director Claire Gibbons, Cypress Adventures Founder and Executive Program Director Aimee Cox-King, and CA students

HARTSVILLE, SC — September 26, 2023Cypress Adventures, Inc. has been awarded a $50,000 grant from Power:Ed, the philanthropy of SC Student Loan Corporation, to help meet the demand to expand its successful youth leadership program to serve more students by hiring a second-level program coordinator.

Cypress Adventures’ Youth Leadership Program combines experiential education with adventure-based programming to teach middle and high school students essential life and leadership competencies. The goal is to equip them with communication, team building, conflict resolution, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills they can apply to school, home, and work today and every day.

The 14-week afterschool courses are free to Darlington County middle and high school students. The program provides opportunities for youth to connect with others, manage stress, strengthen resilience, explore careers, discover civic engagement, and participate in challenging outdoor activities like camping, hiking, and canoeing. A critical component of Cypress programming is that students develop valuable social & emotional learning, academic, and workforce skills while learning from and with other adolescents that are different from themselves.

“This grant award will allow us to double the number of youth served and introduce them to a wide variety of possible career opportunities in our community with personalized guidance in goal setting and planning towards achieving future work and education goals,” says Aimee Cox-King, Founder and Executive Program Director of Cypress Adventures.

“Power:Ed is proud to support Cypress Adventures and hopes other funders will join the effort to ensure all Darlington County students have the opportunity to participate in this life-changing program,” 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 Cypress Adventures) totaling $265,000. Grants are administered quarterly, and the next grant funding deadline is October 1, 2023.

About Cypress Adventures

An incubator of youth leaders founded in 2015, Cypress Adventures develops adolescents’ emotional, social, and physical well-being, empowering them with the skills necessary to reach their highest potential. We are dedicated to creating a challenging and supportive environment accessible to all. Through experiential learning and boundaryless thinking, we meet our youth where they are and position them to create vibrant futures for themselves and their communities. 


About Power:Ed

Founded in 2019, Power:Ed, the 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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