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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.

Presbyterian College students and student organizations provide volunteer hours to tutor CHAMPS students and complete community service hours. Student Volunteer Services at PC offers a Girl Scout troop for CHAMPS middle schoolers and honor society members coordinate the College Literacy program for 11th and 12th graders. Sigma Nu Fraternity works with the CHAMPS Father’s Council to support special father and son projects.

This fall a new CHAMPS house adjacent to the campus is being secured for after-school programming.