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In my small rural town, big things are happening. It didn’t happen by chance but because of a young man’s vision to give back to his small town. Steven Brown, an engineer, decided he didn’t want to be the exception he wants this to be the norm. Most people think nothing major comes out of small towns. And this is possibly true when the resources are limited. But inspiring our local kids has become the norm in this small town.
But Steven’s vision has come to fruition, his leap of faith has birthed a non-profit called Dreams, Imagination, and Gifts (DIG). Just this year, DIG implemented an after school program for 1st – 8th graders. The after school program provides homework and tutoring assistance, positive youth and character development, recreation, and Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STE(A)M) activities. My son, Ali, has personally benefited from this program. We’ve seen his grades increase and now he wants to be a science teacher when he grows up.
DIG also hosts a month-long summer camp. The children can build STE(A)M related projects. For example, last year the kids were excited about building an air conditioner out of every day supplies. The camp also provides instruction in math, reading, and character development. There are also physical activities throughout the day.
Finally, DIG puts on a STEM festival in the town of Williston, SC. In April 2016, over 2500 people were in attendance. The expectation for the 2017 STEM festival attendance would exceed last year’s. There were many vendors who provided hands-on activities for the children to participate in.
So, great things are happening in this small town. We’re encouraging and empowering tomorrow’s youth to think outside of your small town. We’re looking forward to seeing the long-term impact of this program on our youth.
As stated before, DIG is a non-profit organization if you’re interested in additional information or donating please go to their website www.digdp.org or their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/digdp/.
My son, Ali, has a learning disability. He has struggled with reading as early as K-5. We’ve cried many tears together as he cried why can’t he learn. This was at age 5. He’s worked very hard and still has his struggles. But my heart gets full looking at the attached video of my son reading in front of an audience. By the way, he asked could he read his paper to the audience. Through this program, he’s gained confidence in himself. I’m so grateful to DIG.