HEROES OF THE LOW COUNTRY
PO BOX 3712
BLUFFTON SC 29910-3712
Contact Information
Organization DBA (Doing Business As)
Organization DBA
Address PO BOX 3712
BLUFFTON, SC 299103712
Telephone (843) 689-9315
E-mail heroesofLC@gmail.com
Projected Annual Revenue $39,500.00 (2016)
Web and Social Media
Video
For PDF Please Click on Other Documents Below
Mission Statement

The mission of THE HEROES OF THE LOWCOUNTRY is to provide tuition assistance and mentoring to underserved students who meet certain academic criteria in order to give them the opportunity to pursue their dreams of a higher education.

The goal of HOLC is not just to provide a onetime scholarship, but rather to provide the students with a system of support throughout their college years and beyond. HOLC achieves this goal by providing recipients with a scholarship at the end of each of their college years, mentoring the students throughout their four years of college, and assisting them with job-placement skills once they graduate. HOLC increases the amount of its yearly scholarships as another incentive to encourage their recipients to stay in college.
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Gerrold Walker
Board Chair Gerrold Walker
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2014
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years
Graph: Expense Breakdown Graph - All Years
Revenue vs Expenses Area Graph - All Years

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

 Breakdown
Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Additional Documents
Other Documents 3
Volunteers Needed2017View
Statements
Mission

The mission of THE HEROES OF THE LOWCOUNTRY is to provide tuition assistance and mentoring to underserved students who meet certain academic criteria in order to give them the opportunity to pursue their dreams of a higher education.

The goal of HOLC is not just to provide a onetime scholarship, but rather to provide the students with a system of support throughout their college years and beyond. HOLC achieves this goal by providing recipients with a scholarship at the end of each of their college years, mentoring the students throughout their four years of college, and assisting them with job-placement skills once they graduate. HOLC increases the amount of its yearly scholarships as another incentive to encourage their recipients to stay in college.
Background

Five years ago the Campbell AME Church of Bluffton, SC recognized that many of the students in the Beaufort/Jasper County area were at a disadvantage for continuing their education beyond high school. This disadvantage came as a result of various factors: some students came from families where no member had ever continued school beyond the 12th grade; many students were from families where the socioeconomic standard was well below the average, thus making higher education a financial hardship; general access to educational resources was lacking; there was no competent professional in their immediate circle to give support and guidance.

The church decided to make small scholarships available to qualified applicants in order to change the trend. Four students were awarded stipends of $350 that they could apply toward books, computers or other needs.

Subsequently, a small group of business and education professionals took up the cause started by Campbell AME Church and formed a non-profit, calling themselves the Heroes of the Lowcountry. Since 2012, this group has conducted itself as a completely volunteer organization, raising the funds to perpetuate and grow the original program. As of 2015, 46 students have been helped and in 2016 the projected number of active scholarships will be 33, totaling $16,650. The four original scholarship recipients are graduating in 2016.

Impact

HOLC recognizes that our students represent a valuable resource to our community, our state and our country. They deserve the encouragement and opportunity to better themselves through continuing their education beyond high school and entering the world of work as competent and confident individuals.

The reality in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, however, is that a disproportionate number of high school students do not continue their education beyond high school. This statistic can be attributed to a number of factors but HOLC has identified a few:

1. Many students are in families where there are no other members who have pursued higher education.

2. There is a significant population in Beaufort and Jasper Counties that lives at a low socioeconomic level. The children from these families are discouraged from continuing their education due to financial constraints.

3. There is no role model for higher academic pursuits or professional advancement in the lives of many of our graduating students.

4. Overall, there is limited access to the guidance and mentorship our students need to propel them toward academic and professional success.

HOLC has these goals as guiding principles:

1. Identify and reward qualified underserved students and provide monetary and mentoring support to pursue their educational goals.

2. Not only award graduating seniors, but follow them throughout their college career to maximize their chances for graduation and professional success. Raise awareness of the value of our graduating students to the greater community.

3. Solicit support from the community for the goals of HOLC. This includes, but is not limited to, pursuing funding from individuals, corporations, and non-profit agencies.

4. Pursue grants from other agencies whose missions matches that of HOLC.

Heroes of the Lowcountry believes that an investment in our local students is an investment in the community at large. Because we encourage our scholarship recipients to be mentors themselves and to give back to the community, we believe our efforts have an impact on improving work skills, raising the high school graduation rate, attracting new business and entrepreneurship, and lowering the crime rate.

The financial commitment that HOLC makes each year to our students is incremental for each year they remain in school. Our commitment is not only monetary, but we serve as mentors and coaches to these students throughout their years in college and into their professional lives.

Students are rewarded for each year they remain in school. For the 2016 academic year we will be awarding scholarships to 14 freshmen at $350 each; 13 sophomores at $500 each; 3 juniors at $750 each; 3 seniors at $1000. Students must remain in good standing with their respective schools and renew their application for funding every spring.

Since 2012, our scholarship program has grown. Here is a breakdown of our monetary awards since inception:

2012 – HOLC awarded four scholarships to high school graduates entering college.

2013 – HOLC awarded three scholarships to high schools graduates entering

college and four scholarships to 2012 recipients entering their sophomore year.

2014 – HOLC awarded six scholarship to high school graduates entering college,

and seven scholarships to previous recipients: three sophomores and four

college juniors.

2015 –HOLC awarded thirteen scholarships to high school graduates and 10 scholarships to previous recipients: three sophomores, three juniors and four seniors.

Needs

The singular purpose of HOLC is to raise funds to support its scholarship program, thus fulfilling the original guiding principles. It is important to note that no one affiliated with the organization is paid. All board members and committee members are volunteers. Donations and fundraising proceeds go directly to student scholarships and minimal administrative costs. For 2015 our total income was approximately $31,000 with expenses totaling about $25,000. (A complete financial statement and budget is provided in section 15 of this application.)

HOLC recognizes that its impact is small at the present time, but with continued growth and community participation, we envision this impact increasing over the coming years.

For 2016, we hope to raise $39,500. Scholarships will account for $16,650 of that budget, with operational, marketing and event costs totaling $16,000.

CEO/Executive Director Statement

Nelson Mandela stated,

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

Heroes of the Lowcountry adds to this statement, one student at a time.

Heroes of the Lowcountry

Heroes of the Low Country (HOLC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, established in 2012. The organization believes that young people who have the potential for a promising future should be given the opportunity to succeed. The mission is to provide tuition assistance and mentoring to minority students who meet certain academic criteria in order to give them the opportunity to pursue their dreams of higher education.

The goal of HOLC is not just simply to provide a monetary gift, but rather to provide the students with a system of support through their college years and beyond. HOLC achieves this by helping students pay for their college education, supporting them throughout their college years, and assisting them with job- placement skills once they graduate.

The students come from the Lowcountry of South Carolina, Jasper and Beaufort Counties. Many of these minority students may be attending schools that are: (1) high in first-generation postsecondary students, (2) low in socioeconomic status, (3) low in academic resources, and (4) low in competent professionals to help them successfully navigate the educational pipelines to higher education.

Heroes of the Lowcountry is poised to address the needs of these minority students, who are not only under-resourced but also usually underprepared for higher education. The HOLC program provides much needed financial support and mentoring, which increases the retention, matriculation, and graduation rate of under-represented students in higher education. This powerful road to success uplifts the community and enhances the state of SC with individuals who are productive citizens, working toward making our communities stronger.

HOLC works with high-school counselors, teachers, churches, and community leaders to identify students in Beaufort and Jasper Counties who need financial assistance and may need mentoring in order to complete a college education. The students receive their first scholarship from HOLC their freshman year, and HOLC continues to encourage and support the students throughout their four years of college with yearly scholarships and mentoring. Upon graduating, the students are helped with job-placement skills, counseling, and networking through the organization’s professional and personal relationships.

HOLC has two major yearly fundraising events: a golf tournament and a fall boat ride. We also count on corporate sponsors, donations, churches, and Board membership to fund our scholarship program. Since 2012, HOLC has given out 47 scholarships.

Each year, HOLC honors a community member who has made outstanding contributions to the community. This person becomes the organization’s “Hero” of the year. The Hero promotes the services of the organization and serves as a role model and mentor to the HOLC scholarship recipients. The Hero also gives the students a motivational speech at the annual luncheon, inspiring scholarship recipients to reach their academic and professional goals and encouraging them to give back to their community.

HOLC also lets the parents know that they can contact the organization if their child is experiencing difficulties or if they just need someone to talk to their child. HOLC does everything it can to let the students and parents know that they are available to help their recipients complete a college education.

Board Chair Statement

The mission of The Heroes of the Lowcountry is to provide tuition assistance and mentoring to underserved students who meet certain academic criteria in order to give them the opportunity to pursue their dreams of a higher education.

The goal of HOLC is not just simply to provide a onetime scholarship, but rather to provide the students with a system of support through their college years and beyond. HOLC achieves this goal by providing recipients with a scholarship at the end of each of their college years, mentoring the students throughout their four years of college, and assisting them with job-placement skills once they graduate. HOLC increases the amount of its yearly scholarships as another incentive to encourage their recipients to stay in college.

HOLC recognizes that a large proportion of the high school students in our public school systems fit the following criteria:

1. They have no family member who has received a post-high school education.

2. Their socioeconomic status is significantly lower than the average.

3. They have historically had low academic resources.

4. They have had little or no access to competent professionals to help them navigate educational and professional pathways.

HOLC also recognizes that these students represent a valuable resource to our community, our state and our country. They deserve the encouragement and opportunity to better themselves through continuing their education beyond high school and entering the world of work as competent and confident individuals.

HOLC is committed to the following goals:

1. Identify and reward qualified underserved students and provide monetary and mentoring support to pursue their educational goals.

2. Not only award graduating seniors, but follow them throughout their college career to maximize their chances for graduation and professional success.

3. Raise awareness of the value of our graduation students to the greater community.

4. Solicit support from the community for the goals of HOLC. This includes, but is not limited to, pursuing funding from individuals, corporations, and non-profit agencies.

5. Pursue grants from other agencies whose missions matches that of HOLC.

Heroes of the Lowcountry believes that an investment in our local students is an investment in the community at large. Because we encourage our scholarship recipients to be mentors themselves and to give back to the community, we believe our efforts have an impact on improving work skills, raising the high school graduation rate, attracting new business and entrepreneurship, and lowering the crime rate.

The financial commitment that HOLC makes each year to our students is incremental for each year they remain in school. Our commitment is not only monetary, but we serve as mentors and coaches to these students throughout their years in college and into their professional live.

3. Geographic areas served: Beaufort County and Jasper County

4. A list of programs that your organization is working on (5 max)

a. The awarding of scholarships to under-served students.

b. The ongoing mentorship of our scholarship recipients as they navigate their college experience.

c. Career and professional guidance as our students approach graduation.

Areas of Service
Area
Beaufort County
Jasper County
Beaufort County and Jasper County
Board Chair
Board Chair Gerrold Walker
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Term Jan 2015 to Dec 2016
Email gerrold@hargray.com
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
George Bailey Retired
Jan Billingslea Community Volunteer
Sharon Brown WFG Transamerica
Lamar Burt Retired
Dr. Susan Gordon Retired
William Johnson Community Volunteer
Peggi Moon Retired
William Sutton Community Volunteer
William Walker Retired
Gerrold Walker Community Volunteer
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 9
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 1
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 4
Governance
Board Term Lengths 4
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 75%
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Standing Committees
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Community Outreach / Community Relations
Distributions / Grant Making
Education
Program / Program Planning
Scholarship
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Executive Director
Executive Director/CEO Gerrold Walker
Experience Heroes of the Lowcountry is a totally volunteer-staffed organization governed by a Board of Directors.
Staff
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 15
Contractors 0
Plans
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures No
Diversity Policy Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Collaborations

Beaufort and Jasper counties school counselors.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority-workshop on funding a college education

Local churches and community organizations

Programs
Description

Awarding of scholarships to under-served students.

HOLC defines under-served as: low socio-economic status, English as a second language, no family members having attended college, no role models for pursuing higher education.
Students are selected for our scholarship based on an application that includes a transcript, a letter of recommendation, an essay, and proof of acceptance to a college.  We have a clear  non-discrimination policy, but we try to assure that our limited scholarship funds go to those students who might fall through the crack due to circumstances beyond their control.  
Scholarship applications are received starting in January and decisions are made in May.  In June, we have a Scholarship Awards Luncheon sponsored by University of South Carolina Beaufort that is attended by recipients and their families.  This is our opportunity to meet the students personally and to give them an inspirational send-off for the coming academic year.  


 
Budget 1
Short Term Success


HOLC will have 80% of their students maintain a 3.0 or grater GPA

Long Term Success

 

HOLC will have 95% of their recipients complete an under graduate degree. 
Program Success Monitored BY


The success of the program will be measured by reviewing the student's  yearly transcripts. 

Description

The ongoing mentorship of our scholarship recipients as they navigate their college experience.

This contact is to ensure that academic support and encouragement is provided.  Every Board Member of HOLC commits to serving as a mentor to several students.  This is what makes us more than just a scholarship-granting organization.  Having the personal connection to each student keeps us focused and involved in our mission.  
We set as our goal to have, at a minimum, 4 contacts with our students during the course of the school year.  This could be a phone call, a campus visit, or simply a birthday card.  But the intention is that each student understand that our interest is more than just financial.  We hope this involvement will minimize interruptions to the student's education and build focus and accountability. 
Budget 1
Short Term Success

 

By the end of the first semester students will know that HOLC cares about their future and will contact their mentor if they experience academic or personal problems.

Long Term Success

 

HOLC will have less than the average number of students dropout of college.

Program Success Monitored BY


The success will me measured by the number of students who remain in college and the number of calls board mentors receive from the students during the school year. 

 
Description

Career and professional guidance as our students approach graduation.

HOLC Board is make up of a group of successful professionals.  If a student is interested in a certain career we try to place that student with a board member who has worked in that field.  Students therefore receive first hand knowledge on a careers and its job opportunity. 

We also provide each of our senior with a DVD on how to write a successful resume and a career book that give tips on how to have a successful job interview. 
 
Budget 1
Short Term Success


Board members will review the students resumes and interview skills.

Long Term Success

 

HOLC will analyze the number of students who received gainful employment. 

Program Success Monitored BY


HOLC will have the graduates fill out a questionnaire that will measure the help they received from HOLC.

Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year 2016
Projected Revenue $39,500.00
Projected Expenses $30,650.00
Spending Policy N/A
Form 990s
Audit Documents
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$11,550$6,550--
Administration Expense$5,223$0--
Fundraising Expense$8,389$4,563--
Payments to Affiliates--$0--
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.971.16--
Program Expense/Total Expenses46%59%--
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue36%39%--
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$6,692$4,932--
Current Assets$6,692$4,932--
Long-Term Liabilities--$0--
Current Liabilities--$0--
Total Net Assets$6,692$4,932--
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%--
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountCommunity Foundation of the LC $5,000Golf Tournament $5,659--
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $9,537Cruise $1,602--
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountMember Donations $1,050Member Donations $1,050--
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
Registration Yes May 2017
Comments
Organization Comments
To date, HOLC has supported its scholarship fund through the proceeds of 2 fundraisers each year, supplemented by direct donations from the public and pledged donations from each board member. This has been sufficient to meet the existing needs, but is not without much effort placed on a very few volunteers. Further, the return on events like golf tournaments and river cruises is minimal.
 
 The board of HOLC has long believed that we could apply greater efficiencies to our fundraising efforts. One way we hope to achieve this is by taking advantage of philanthropic grants that are available from both the public and private sectors. This could provide a revenue stream that is either a one-time donation or a renewable source of funds each year with a minimum of effort. We are also seeking advice on other means of securing the funding that we need.
 
If less time were spent on fundraising this would leave us more time to focus on the goal of mentoring the students who have received our scholarships and providing them with career path guidance.
 
To help us with this goal, we will be applying for an organizational development grant in 2016 to provide for a consultant who can help us with our need to grow fiscally in the more efficient ways.
Nonprofit HEROES OF THE LOW COUNTRY
Address PO BOX 3712
BLUFFTON, SC 299103712
Primary Phone (843) 689-9315
Contact Email heroesofLC@gmail.com
CEO/Executive Director Gerrold Walker
Board Chair Gerrold Walker
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Year of Incorporation 2014