The Wade Hampton High School Students In Action (SIA) team functions as part of a Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) class. JAG provides student-centered programs to ensure youth achieve their fullest potential by focusing on academic success and career readiness skills. The program incorporates a community service curriculum. JAG in Varnville, SC has partnered with Multiplying Good's SIA program to help them fulfill their service-learning requirements.

Ms. Angel Connell teaches the class and serves as the SIA program advisor. The team, which includes Destiny and Janiyah, created and maintained a community pantry in their school, providing canned goods, non-perishable food items, and toiletries for needy families in their community. They have also partnered with Clemson Extension and Katie’s Krops, an initiative founded by Jefferson Award recipient, Katie Stagliano to build and maintain a community garden. 

We asked Destiny and Janiyah a few questions to learn more about how their commitment to service and their racial identity intersect! Check out the Q&A below.



(Left: Destiny, a 10th-grade student at Wade Hampton HS, harvests broccoli from her SIA team's community garden while wearing a face-covering. Right: An undated picture of Destiny) 

As a Black youth, how has service to others benefited you and your community (school or neighborhood)

The way service to others has benefited me and my community is by it bringing me and others closer.  Also, by helping me realize my community is more than a community it is my home. 

As a black person in America who is committed to activating and celebrating service, how have you stayed inspired during the COVID-19 pandemic?

I have stayed inspired, hopeful, and optimistic during the Pandemic by keeping positive thoughts and by knowing many people are having trouble surviving more than I am. 

What is your earliest service-oriented memory?

I was five or six years old when I first participated in service to others. At my school and we did a program called Jump Rope for Heart, we would raise money for people who had heart problems.  I then participated in our school’s food bank in which we give boxes of food to people in our community who need it.  Lastly, I participated in the Trunk or Treat at my church where we gave out candy to little kids. 

What are some things you think would increase the number of Black students participating in Students in Action?

Some things I believe would increase the number of Black students participating in Student in Action would be to make them more aware, offer them the chance to participate in the program, and have leaders from the program come talk to them. 



(Janiyah, a 9th-grade student at Wade Hampton HS harvests cabbage from her SIA teams community garden.)

Why is it essential for the community of people activating service to others to be a diverse group of people?

It is essential for the community of people activating service to others to be a diverse group of people because the diversity of the group strengthens the cross-cultural relationship allowing other communities to be open to receiving help and receive it willingly by being a part of the solution. 

As a Black person in America, has the COVID-19 pandemic and the violence against Black Americans affected your ability, willingness, or desire to serve? In what ways?

As an African American, the pandemic and violence against Black Americans has affected my ability, willingness, and desire in many ways. After the many violent events that took place, I have become fearful when put in a situation to serve my community

Tell us about your service work.

I do various service projects but many of them consist of doing community clean-ups and giving food out at my school to the less fortunate. My earliest service-oriented memories began when I reached the third grade.  I helped serve meals in my community for Thanksgiving. 

How does your racial identity affect your experience as a service leader?

In regard to racial identity, I feel it makes me strive harder to prove that I am capable to do such an effective service. As a black youth, service to others benefited me and my community by being a great way to meet new people and connections to bring new opportunities to my neighborhood. 


Our blog series, Exploring the role of service in the Black Community, is an interview series with participants from our Students In Action, Media Partner, and Recognition Champions programs. For the next three weeks, we're giving the Multiplying Good community an intimate look into how their unique experiences and racial identity impact their service work.  

The blog series will culminate with a Facebook Live conversation among all the participants. It will be held on Thursday, February 25, and moderated by Mr. Taj Tashombe, Vice President of Government Affairs, Oakland Athletics/Multiplying Good Bay Area Board Member. Like our Facebook Page to get notified when we go LIVE so you can tune-in.