Simply put, upward economic mobility is the essence of the American Dream. Generation over generation, parents want their children to climb higher and grow up to live a more comfortable, successful life. The promise is that with a great education and hard work, everyone can achieve their full potential.
But the unfortunate reality is that promise is out of reach for too many in Greenville County, where more than 10% of people live under the poverty line — meaning nearly 60,000 men, women and children struggle to meet basic needs. And of the 100 largest communities in the country, we’re ranked one of the 10 most difficult places to rise out of poverty.
It’s because of these challenges that United Way of Greenville County is dedicated to building a community where all people have access to opportunities to achieve their full potential. Informed by expert national and local research, extensive community conversations and 100 years of on-the-ground experience, we’ve identified Education, Financial Stability, and Vibrant and Equitable Communities as the three essential impact areas for increasing economic mobility:
Education is a powerful antipoverty tool — and the most consistent driver of sustained upward mobility. But to have the best chance to succeed in school, graduate and become financially stable, students must also have their basic needs met at home. That means having equitable access to opportunities for support.
Financial Stability is the first stop on the journey to economic mobility. When people earn enough income to be self-sufficient, build savings to weather a personal financial crisis and gain long-term assets like home ownership, our whole community benefits. Financially stable families are also more likely to raise children equipped with the tools and experiences to succeed in school, creating sustainable impact across generations.
Vibrant & Equitable Communities consists of safe and well-connected neighborhoods, providing equal access to resources and support, and fostering a strong nonprofit safety net to meet basic needs. Communities that are vibrant and equitable provide the foundation needed to generate more educated students and financially stable families — allowing for all members to reach their full potential.
Our strategic funding, direct service initiatives and volunteer experiences are all designed to support these impact areas within our Economic Mobility Model.
Learn more about our approach in each impact area by selecting one of the options below:
Whether the earliest days of learning or after graduation, we believe in the power of education to lift individuals over the poverty line and be a consistent driver of success.
From workforce development to job training and financial assistance, we work to improve financial health, stability and mobility in greater Greenville County.
Safe and well-connected neighborhoods, a strong network of local nonprofits, and equal access to resources makes all of Greenville County better.
Thank you for joining us to build a stronger, more equitable Greenville County for all. Please complete the form below to stay connected with us.