Rural Area Leadership Initiative

In September 2007, the FMU Foundation advocated the development of a local leadership capacity building enterprise in 3 pilot communities in conjunction with funds from Francis Marion University and the PSARAS Foundation. The communities selected were: Marlboro County (18 participants), Marion County (20 participants), and Williamsburg County (15 participants), all of which evidence the characteristics needed for a program which can be replicated in rural communities throughout the State. In November, 2008 the University began phase 2 in Dillon County with twenty-six participants. Each RALI became a 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization and has helped established a non-profit organization within their community.

Marlboro County- Combining city and county recreation departments to serve needs more uniformly and with expanded resources (In progress)

Marion County– Established a Boys and Girls Club in Marion County

Williamsburg County– Created Chavis One Stop Facility in Hemingway which houses eight government agencies. Currently, they are working on another government and social services center in Battery Park.

Dillon County– Established a Free Medical Clinic in Dillon County. Currently, they are working to establish a Boys and Girls Club in Dillon County.

 Because of the success of the RALI, the Rural Leadership Institute was created to enhance and enable the progress and development of rural communities in South Carolina.

 The RLI at FMU will include 40 hours of leadership training delivered in one-day sessions over several months. The curriculum includes two phases with six sessions each; Phase one will concentrate on individual skill development and Phase two will concentrate on leadership and program development for community-based organizations. Participants will be enrolled from rural counties drawn from the private sector and non-profit organizations. The recruitment process will identify a diverse cohort to best represent their community and region.

The Rural Leadership Institute will accept a selected number of participants from rural counties drawn from the private sector, the public sector and non-profit organizations. You will earn a RLI Certificate after having completed the course by meeting the attendance requirements. The course fees are $150 per phase, which includes all materials and meals for each session throughout the year. The sessions will be held on either one– or two day periods from September 2012 through May 2014 on the campus of FMU. Session dates for the Rural Leadership Institute are:


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