HARTSVILLE– Cypress Adventures’ free afterschool Youth Leadership Program impacts Darlington County Youth through a combination of experiential education and outdoor adventure, but they can’t do it alone.
Positive Youth Development takes a village.
When organization founder Aimee Cox-King needed Chromebooks for a new Workforce Development course, as well as funding for canoes, canoeing certiﬁcations and related gear, Duke Energy stepped up with a $4,000 donation.
“Duke Energy is proud to support the efforts of Cypress Adventures as they work with youth on life, leadership, and workforce development skills,” said Mindy Taylor, government and community relations manager for Duke Energy. “We’re big believers in investing in our young people, because they represent the future.”
Cypress’s commitment to building the life and leadership skills of middle and high school students is executed year-round through a growing collection of high-quality after-school programs, outdoor adventure experiences like hiking, camping and canoeing, plus weeklong summer camps dedicated to health and wellness. Filling the gap between school life and home life requires constant ﬂexibility, innovation and community support.
“Demand for our after-school programs has steadily increased over the last few years,” said Cox-King, who started the nonproﬁt in 2015. “We’re placing more and more students on the waiting list who could beneﬁt from organized exposure to skills they’ll need for the rest of their lives like communication, problem-solving, stress management and team building.”
Cox-King added, “Duke Energy understands our vision and celebrates our unique delivery of evidence-based social and emotional out-of-school learning experiences. Their support positions us to achieve our workforce readiness and canoeing adventure goals.”
The fall semester of Cypress’s Youth Leadership Program begins on Aug. 9. Darlington County youth can sign up through their middle and high schools or register at cypressadventures.org.