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L to R: Suzanne Frederick, DIG Site Coordinator; Steven Brown, DIG Founder & CEO; Claire Gibbons, Power:Ed Executive Director; Shanda Crawford, DIG Program Director, and DIG Scholar Enrichment Academy Afterschool students and Barnwell School District Reps

September 11, 2023 (BARNWELL, SC)Dreams, Imagination, and Gift Development Program (DIG), has been awarded a $40,000 grant from Power:Ed, the philanthropy of SC Student Loan Corporation, to support DIG’s five existing afterschool and career development programs and to launch five one-week pilot programs in rural communities where DIG has seen interest and need for its programs such as Allendale, Bamberg, and Barnwell Counties.

“Lots of organizations that are small in size are having a huge impact in the communities they serve. Often these organizations go unnoticed by funders because their work is in small or underserved communities,” said DIG Founder & CEO Steven D.K. Brown. “We are honored that organizations like PowerEd are noticing and investing in us. With their support, we are able to prove Big Dreams do come from small places and that rural communities DIG STEM.”

The funds will be used to purchase more STEM-related kits specific to mechanical and electrical engineering and curriculum to teach students more about the technology of crypto currency and block chain in the financial sector during financial literacy classes. DIG will use the remaining funds to provide one-week pilot programs in Barnwell, Aiken, and Lancaster county school districts. Specific schools will be announced on a later date. DIG hopes to expand to more rural communities throughout the state of South Carolina. 

“Supporting great organizations in rural and underserved communities across SC is at the heart of what we do. DIG is working to address systemic barriers to education equity, build a pipeline of skilled talent, and boost economic opportunity in the communities it serves, and we are so excited about the transformative impact DIG continues to have,” 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 DIG) totaling $265,000. Grants are administered quarterly, and the next grant funding deadline is October 1, 2023.

About DIG

Dreams, Imagination, Gifts Development (DIG), founded in 2014, is working to create a rural model for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STE(A)M) education in out-of-school time for students in rural communities to narrow the education and economic gap by providing after-school enrichment programs, summer enrichment camps, STEM festivals and career ready mentorship programs. DIG is looking to connect the dots between real-life application and STE(A)M education while fulfilling the workforce development needs for critical thinking, problem-solving, basic soft skills and technological literacy. DIG’s model is designed to spark students’ imagination through exciting STEM learning experiences and resources to prepare students for the 21st century workforce. To learn more on how to get DIG in your community visit or email


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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