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Charleston programs give children the power to dream

Charleston programs give children the power to dream

Written By: Team CMC

Opened in 2009, Kids on Point serves children from elementary through post-secondary school through after-school and year-round programs.

There's a senior at Clemson University, and another at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Two are at technical colleges, one in a local manufacturing career, and one is pursuing the police academy.

When Lauren Herterich looks at this group of twenty something men, behind their success she sees the young boys she met seven years ago. Then, they were participating in programs at Kids on Point, a Charleston, SC, non-profit committed to helping families break the cycle of poverty, generally unaware of the opportunity that could lay ahead.

Today, they are on the brink of their own careers, and — just as importantly — volunteering in their own communities to help children find a successful path in life.

"A lot of kids can't see beyond the three-mile radius of their neighborhood," says Lauren, executive director of Kids on Point. "These young men are the example of what can happen when you help children see that they can dream. It's wonderful to see them come full circle."

Opened in 2009, Kids on Point serves children from elementary through post-secondary school through after-school and year-round programs ranging from academics and health and wellness to career counseling and building positive relationships. For many children, Kids on Point provides access and opportunities beyond what they see in their own community.

"It's really about showing kids what's out there, what they can become, and what their lives can be," says Lauren of the more than 600 hours of free after-school programming, six weeks of free summer programs and nearly 120 hours of college and career readiness initiatives offered each year.

Our programs help high school students connect with college and career counselors, technical school counselors and trade opportunities. The students design their own paths for the future and Kids on Point helps them find internships, scholarships, fill out financial aid forms and apply to college and other post-secondary programs.

It also provides an extensive six-week summer program for children as young as four years old, providing meals, snacks and transportation.

Kids on Point helps nearly 250 students every year in the city of Charleston, and Lauren is hopeful the organization can expand to communities outside the city, doubling in size to continue to meet the needs of children wherever they are.

"We want to help guide children to create their own path in life, whatever that is," says Lauren. "We want to open up minds to dream."


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