RCE Georgetown - 2018

Georgetown RISE UN RCE Youth Corps
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Georgetown RISE UN RCE Youth Corps
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Georgetown
Contributing organization(s) : 
Coastal Carolina University, the National Estuarine Research Reserve North Inlet-Winyah Bay, and the Bunnelle Foundation
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Pamela Martin
Organizational Affiliation: 
Coastal Carolina University
Maeve Snyder
Organizational Affiliation: 
National Estuarine Research Reserve North Inlet Winyah Bay
Format of project: 
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Friday, October 12, 2018
Education for Sustainable Development Policy; UN Global Compact SDGs Making Global Goals Local; SDG 4 Quality Education; SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
United States
Georgetown County
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Coastal Carolina University
Brittain Hall 350
125 Chanticleer Dr. West
Coastal Carolina University
Conway, SC 29528-6054
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Georgetown County, South Carolina, is located along the Grand Strand area of the Atlantic Coastline of the United States and is part of the IntraCoastal Waterway. It houses part of the UN Man and Biosphere Reserve along the Atlantic Coast and has some of the most pristine waters along it, including the third largest water-basin. The population of the County increased 20.5% between 1990 and 2000 to 60,158. It is predicted to increase by 25% by 2025. The county has a rich history and culture of Gullah Geechee ancestors who were slaves from West Africa. It is now part of a National Heritage Corridor for this unique and diverse population. Compared to all but one of the neighbouring counties, Georgetown has lower average income and higher poverty rates that disproportionately affect the African-American residents in the county.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
Georgetown county is a place of wondrous natural beauty and a special heritage, yet these assets are also filled with challenges. While Georgetown County has some of the most pristine waters along the Atlantic and the third largest water-basin, it also suffers from high risk mercury levels in some of its waterways. The county has higher than national average unemployment rates and higher poverty rates that disproportionately affect the African-American residents. The population of the County increased 20.5% between 1990 and 2000, and is predicted to increase by 25% by 2025, primarily along the coast. Despite this growth, 12 of 21 schools in the county are Title 1, meaning these schools receive free or reduced lunch for 75% or more of their students. The illiteracy rate ranges from 15-25%. Coupled with coastal sea level rise and flooding, particularly over the past two years, the Youth Corps initiative helps future leaders build resilient, sustainable communities, creating a model for other small coastal towns.
January, 2018 to January, 2020
The United Nations RCE Georgetown RISE Youth Corps initiative is a high impact, transformative learning program centered on giving students real life skills and experiences in Georgetown County with an integrated teaching/learning component that links county goals to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Youth Corps is intended to contribute to our industry and public institutions, and also to inspire a new generation of professionals in our county to live, work, and play here. Students will work on a project or internship in the county as designated by county leaders, public and private, for a pre-specified amount of credits that fit within their curriculum. This would be combined with a class led by CCU instructor(s) with special lectures from county leaders on sustainable development and coastal resilience. This program is generously funded by the Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation in collaboration with Coastal Carolina University.
The objectives of the Georgetown RISE Youth Corps are:
1. to engage young people in sustainable development policies, research, and activities in Georgetown County
2. to provide educational and professional experience in sustainable development to university-level students
3. to create a welcoming professional atmosphere for young people to work in Georgetown County
4. to link the UN SDGs to the local goals and produce research for public use
Activities and/or practices employed: 
The activities include:
1. an internship for students from 15-40 hours per week, depending on credit needs and scheduling
2. a three-credit class on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and their applications in Georgetown County
3. service learning and mentoring opportunities between students and mentors/community organizations in Georgetown County
4. research on the impacts of the student internship on the UN SDGs in Georgetown County to create data and knowledge-sharing in the county for public use
Size of academic audience: 
30 students and 100 community members
The program is now entering year 2 and we have received funding from the Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation in the amount of $246,000, matched by $200,000 from Coastal Carolina University to expand paid internship opportunities through the UN RCE Georgetown RISE Youth Corps program. As a confirmed outcome from our summer internship program, 6 out of 10 student interns were hired. This means that these students will not only improve UN SDG Goal 8 for Decent Work and Economic Growth in Georgetown County, but that they will apply the UN SDGs to their experiences and in the workplace.
Lessons learned: 
The remaining challenges for this project include:

1) expanding sponsorship to new employers, especially larger employers in the county.
2) developing a service learning and mentoring component for the Youth Corps to further UN SDG Goal 4, as well as UN SDG Goal 17.
4) further training with internship sponsors and follow up throughout the year. The goal would be to have the county also develop a report on their applications of the UN SDGs at the county level.

Key messages: 
Georgetown RISE Youth Corps engages young people in the community through paid internships in all areas of sustainable development with a class component that challenges students to reflect on and research the impacts of their work on fulfilling the UN SDGs in Georgetown County, SC.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
The RCE is the reason this program was started. In 2017, UN RCE Georgetown collaborated with RCE Atlanta and learned of their Youth Corps. Additionally, UN RCE Georgetown Youth members have discussed issues with UN RCE Youth members from Asia and Australia. UN RCE Western Sydney also visited UN RCE Georgetown and Coastal Carolina University in January 2018. These conversations about exchange and practical applications of the UN SDGs, and the Global Action Plan helped UN RCE Georgetown form its Youth Corps paid internship program. As noted from various conversations with UN RCE members listed here and at the UN RCE Americas conference in Vancouver 2017, concrete, practical local applications to the global goals and action plan help students envision connections and outcomes to overcome the challenges of disconnections at the global level. This was evidenced by the University of British Columbia program indigenous semester program, which also influenced the formation of the UN RCE Georgetown Youth Corps paid internship program. UN RCE Bulletins, Facebook posts, and regional conferences all help inspire program development at the local level.
The Georgetown RISE Youth Corps received $38,000 of funding from the Bunnelle Foundation in spring and summer 2018 as a pilot. Cooperating businesses and public entities each sponsored 16 internships in the spring at $1,250 per intern and $1,000 per intern in the summer for 10 internships. This program is a collaboration among business, public institutions, nonprofits, the Frances P Bunnelle Foundation, and Coastal Carolina University for funding.

The program is now entering year 2 and we have received funding from the Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation in the amount of $246,000, matched by $200,000 from Coastal Carolina University to expand paid internship opportunities through the UN RCE Georgetown RISE Youth Corps program.


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 1.03.41 PM.png (1.84 MB) Georgetown RISE Youth Corps with Dean Ennis of Coastal Carolina University, Pamela Martin, and Ryan Fabbri of Town of Pawleys Island South Strand News
Image icon Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 1.03.20 PM.png (1.94 MB) Georgetown RISE Youth Corps Spring 2018 South Strand news
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Curriculum Development 
Plants & Animals 
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Building capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Empowering and mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level