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High school students selected for Emerging Public Leaders program

EPL participants spend a week on campus exploring topics like engaging in the community, analyzing critical issues, practicing ethical leadership and developing communication skills.

The Riley Institute at Furman University has announced its 2018-2019 class of Emerging Public Leaders (EPL). Launched in 2002 by the Riley Institute, EPL is an intensive, statewide service-oriented leadership program for rising high school seniors.

EPL has accepted 16 rising high school seniors from across South Carolina for its 16th class, bringing the total number of students who have participated in the program to 244.

The 2018-19 Riley Institute Emerging Public Leaders are:

Bayan Abunijem
Greenville Tech Charter

Reilly Arford
Ridge View High School

Madison Re’nee Brawley
Strom Thurmond High School

Claire Derakhshan
West Florence High School

Olivia Dozier
Dreher High School

Lauren Garrison
River Bluff High School

Lillian Holland
Porter-Gaud School
Sullivan’s Island

Andrea Kimpson
Richland Northeast High School

Arnav Lal
Stanford Online

Henry Lear
Southside High School

Elliott Marron
Greenville Senior High Academy

Blanton Newman
J.L. Mann Academy

Olivia Reichenbach
Hilton Head Christian Academy
Hilton Head

Lillian Rowan
Myrtle Beach High School
Myrtle Beach

Cate Tedford
Nation Ford High School
Fort Mill

Mae Webster
Spartanburg Day School

Students will convene June 17-22 on the Furman campus where they will investigate topics such as engaging in the community, analyzing critical issues, practicing ethical leadership, developing communication and presentation skills, and planning for the implementation of a service project. Thanks to generous sponsors including Cox Industries, State Farm, Walmart, and the Pazdan family, students attend EPL free of charge.

Following the summer, students work with Riley Institute staff, school officials, and residents in their communities to further develop their service project ideas and implement projects that address diversity and specific needs in their communities.

The students return to campus the following spring to present their community service projects to a panel of judges, and the winning project receives funds for program expansion or replication.

Learn more about the Riley Institute’s Emerging Public Leaders program. Or contact program director Melanie Armstrong at the Riley Institute at 864-294-3546 and


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