Original Six Foundation receives $38,000 grant from Power:Ed to support rural youth in afterschool enrichment and career discovery

Adults pictured L to R: Allendale Co. Schools Superintendent Dr. Vallerie Cave; O6 Program Coordinator Cameron Gentry; O6 Afterschool Allendale-Fairfax Program Coordinator; Power:Ed Executive Director Claire Gibbons; O6 Executive Director Kara Gormley Meador (second row); O6 Board Member Kimberli Scott-Still; O6 Program Director Nick Washington; USC Salkehatchie STEM Program Manager Tracy Beach; Allendale-Fairfax Middle School Principal Dr. Donna Dandy, and students in the O6 afterschool program.

The Original Six Foundation (O6), has been awarded a $38,000 grant from Columbia-based Power:Ed, the philanthropy of SC Student Loan Corporation, to support O6 Afterschool enrichment, STEAM development, and career discovery programs for students in Allendale County at Allendale-Fairfax Middle School.

“Workforce development in rural and underserved communities begins with programs like O6 Afterschool,” Original Six Executive Director, Kara Gormley Meador said. “This Power:Ed grant could not have come at a more opportune time as it will support continued growth of the O6 Afterschool program which prepares students for academic success in a safe and nurturing environment,” Gormley Meador said.

O6 Afterschool improves education by offering public school students enrolled in the program in grades two through eight the opportunity to receive individualized homework assistance with an emphasis placed on interactive learning- particularly in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math. Through community partnerships, the Original Six exposes students to activities, opportunities, and mentors that challenge them intellectually and boost their self-confidence.

Power:Ed funding will also allow the Original Six to introduce a new level of career exploration to students attending Allendale-Fairfax Middle School through the use of Virtual Reality (VR)Technology. The VR model improves workforce equity and accessibility by increasing access to career opportunities many of the students have not been introduced to. In addition, the O6 plans to incorporate school trips to various industries and employers so students can follow-up their virtual tours with a real-life visit to a manufacturing plant, hospital, or law firm.

“Supporting great organizations in rural and underserved communities across SC is at the heart of what we do. Original Six is working to boost education equity, introduce middle school students to career and higher education pathways, and start them on the journey to achieve greater economic opportunities for themselves and their families. We are so excited about the transformative impact O6 can have in Allendale,” 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 nonprofit organizations. In this second quarter, Power:Ed has awarded eight grants (including this grant to O6 totaling $287,000. Grants are administered quarterly, and the next grant funding deadline is January 1, 2024.

About O6
Founded in 2011 by then South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, the Original Six (O6) Foundation believes children across the Palmetto State deserve a quality education regardless of where they are born and raised. The Original Six Foundation works to improve education for public school students in rural and underserved communities by identifying gaps and filling them through afterschool and early literacy programs. For more information about the O6 visit originalsixfoundation.org.

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 power-ed.org.


SCBIZtv is part of the SC Biz News family, serving 100,000 high-level business execs throughout South Carolina. Click for more from SCBIZtv.