Berea High School has been recognized for excellence in diversity with the awarding of the William “Bill” T. Wylie VALUED Lives Award for School Excellence in Diversity. The award is presented by the Greenville Chamber of Commerce and the Riley Institute at Furman University, in partnership with Upstate Chambers. Berea High School was honored at a banquet that recognized organizations and individuals for outstanding achievement in promoting diversity and inclusion in Upstate South Carolina.
With students representing literally every ethnic group, Berea High is comprised of a student body that comes from a vast array of backgrounds, histories, and cultures. Student organizations exemplify a commitment to celebrating the uniqueness of each student. Committed to diverse programming for students through clubs and extracurricular activities, Berea High School is also involved in several initiatives to keep their diverse student body on track for college and careers.
For example, their participation in Clemson University’s Tiger Alliance program targets young men of color to better prepare them for graduation and college. Berea is an active member of the Bridges to a Brighter Future program with several current participating students, as well as Berea staff that also serve as staff. Additionally, Bulldog RUN, an on-site college access program that began just three years ago have placed students on at least twenty-three college and university campuses in order to ensure student exposure to college life, the significance of high school work, and the importance of choosing the right post-secondary school. As part of the Student Dreamers Alliance, a youth leadership accelerator sponsored by Hispanic Alliance, student voices and opportunities are magnified through awareness of legislative initiatives, community resources, and advocacy for change.
With the hiring of a bilingual parent facilitator, the implementation of a transformative Newcomer program for students new to the country, and the participation of staff in a variety of ESOL professional development trainings and conferences, Berea High School is committed to celebrating their differences and creating an environment that is both inclusive and supportive. Diversity is Berea’s strength and it is at the core of its community.
About the Award
Organizations selected for the Excellence in Diversity Award encourage value for personal expression and experience; foster awareness and self-expression; promote learning and inclusive teaching; unite communities by involvement and service; demonstrate equity in programs, staff, and practices; and engage in continuous dialogue and meaningful interactions.