Dr. Hill and students

Bonner Scholars help others achieve

Students conduct G.E.D. Tutorial Program with Urban League

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Jonathan Franklin and Diamond Marcano are sophomores at Wofford College, so they have a ways to go before graduation. Still, graduation is upmost in their minds this summer – not for themselves, but for others in the Spartanburg community.

The two students, both Bonner Scholars at Wofford, are leading a G.E.D. Tutorial Program this summer in partnership with the Urban League of the Upstate so that they can help others toward their goal of receiving a high school diploma. 

Nearly a dozen local residents of varying ages are attending two-hour sessions three times a week at the Cammie Claggett Community Center in Spartanburg through Aug. 5. 

“This is important because it gives the participants a chance to obtain a diploma or degree that will open up multiple doors for them in the near future, whether that may be college or the work force,” Franklin says. “Spartanburg has a lot of opportunities here for its citizens to take advantage of, and we believe they will have an opportunity by completing this program.” 

Franklin says he and Marcano wanted to help with this program because they see residents in the community around Wofford without diplomas or degrees. “We thought that by starting the program, we will give the participants an opportunity to become prepared for taking the test to obtain their GEDs.” 

Franklin, a double-major in English and humanities with a concentration in African/African-American Studies, is from Columbia, S.C. Marcanos, a computer science major with a minor in mathematics, is from Tampa, Fla.

As Bonner Scholars at Wofford, they both have been involved in a variety of community service and service learning projects. Both volunteer for the Urban League of the Upstate during the academic year, both completing 280 hours of service this past year. They also completed service during the January Interim on a Washington, D.C., trip on community development, attended by the other 13 Wofford Bonner Scholars in the class of 2016.

The Bonner Scholarship provides students the opportunities, resources and skills to serve humanity through a variety of projects. The scholars volunteer at least 10 hours each week during the school year and 280 hours over each of at least two summers.

Franklin and Marcano also both participated in the Homelessness Count conducted in Spartanburg earlier this year. Franklin also helped coordinate and produce “The Faces of Homelessness” panel discussions for one of his sociology classes. His Wofford service is an extension on what he did while in high school, where he completed more than 250 hours of community service. The summer before his first year at Wofford, he was a peer mentor with the Columbia Urban League, tutoring elementary school and middle school students.

Franklin and Marcano also completed the Project Ready Mentoring Program in Spartanburg earlier this year, working with more than a dozen local students through the Urban League of the Upstate.

Marcano also has been involved with philanthropy events for his fraternity at Wofford, Pi Kappa Phi. In high school, he mentored middle school students.