Dedication to the community is at the heart of being a Multiplying Good ChangeMaker.
Founded in 1972 as the American Institute for Public Service, Multiplying Good is the parent organization of the Jefferson Award, the nation’s highest award for volunteerism. It has been given to public figures including the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Oprah Winfrey and Bill and Melinda Gates.
In the Upstate, the organization recognizes the people Heather Love, the South Carolina executive director of Multiplying Good, calls the local “Oprah Winfreys of the world” through its ChangeMakers program. The organization partnered with WYFF-TV for a number of years to bring the awards to the Upstate. The organization also supports the Students in Action program for high school students.
ChangeMakers are young professionals changing their communities for the better. This year, the class selected by Multiplying Good has 10 ChangeMakers. On Oct. 8, the 2020 ChangeMakers rounded out their year of service with a drive-in celebration where ChangeMakers were able to pick up their awards and celebrate the year.
“They’re all professionals, but essentially, they’ve all been chosen for the class because of that … demonstrated commitment to service and leadership and giving back to the community,” said Love.
“[Multiplying Good] is an organization that does not restrict the mind, but encourages our youth to expand their horizons and witness what is possible through hard work and dedication,” said Giovanni Calise, associate dean of Anderson University’s College of Business.
These 10 ChangeMakers participated in volunteer, community and networking activities each month of the year with the goal of raising awareness of Students In Action and other causes.
“It has been an honor to participate in ChangeMakers, which has given me the opportunity to gain an understanding of what is going on in the community and to meet like-minded individuals who are passionate about supporting their community,” said ChangeMaker and assistant vice president of Countybank, Crystal Peterson.
Even though many of the events had to be held virtually, Peterson said that the ChangeMakers and those who participated in Students in Action still gave it their all.
“I think it goes without saying that the 2020 Class of Upstate ChangeMakers will have one of the most unique service leadership experiences of all time,” said Bobby Barreto of Windsor Aughtry. “It’s been very encouraging, though, to see our student leaders and Multiplying Good staff continue to remain focused on the mission during these times where it would probably have been much easier to just proverbially pack everything up and go home.
“Being able to connect with my fellow ChangeMakers has been incredible – their varying perspectives on life and leadership have been an incredible asset to me as a person,” Barreto added.
Those interested in nominating individuals for the ChangeMakers program can look for the call for nominations in early 2021 or contact Heather Love through Multiplying Good’s website: http://www.multiplyinggood.org/.