COLUMBIA (October 16, 2018) – Today, Grow with Google announced that Epworth Children’s Home is the People’s Choice winner of the Google.org Impact Challenge after a week of public voting. Earlier this month, the tech company announced $250,000 in grants to four local nonprofits Midlands Technical College Foundation, Richland Library, Riverbanks Foundation and Epworth Children’s Home. Each received a $50,000 grant and training from Google to support economic opportunity in the community. Epworth Children’s Home was granted an extra $50,000 as the public voting winner.
“Google is thrilled that Columbia residents selected Epworth Children’s Home and we are honored to support all four of these amazing organizations, each of which is doing important work to advance economic opportunity,” said Tia Bethea of Grow with Google.
The four organizations were selected by Google and a panel of local advisors including Judi Gatson, WIS News Anchor; Lou Kennedy, CEO, Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corp.; Madeleine McGee, President, Together SC; Harris Pastides, President, University of South Carolina.
Epworth Children’s Home’s proposal focused on providing foster youth with business experience at the Epworth Ice Cream Company. Epworth Children’s Home offers job training, internships, and hands-on entrepreneurial experience to a population segment with historically high rates of unemployment and homelessness. Through the grant, former foster youth will be trained and employed at the Epworth Ice Cream Company, creating a way to generate more career opportunities for them in local small businesses.
This announcement follows the Grow with Google event hosted in Columbia in May where nearly 1,000 individuals attended a day of digital skills training. Through Grow with Google, the company’s aim is to help everyone across America – those who make up the workforce of today, the students who will drive the workforce of tomorrow and the small businesses that keep our economy strong – access the best of Google’s training and tools to grow their skills, careers, and businesses.