COLUMBUS, NC - Cody H. Owens, marketing and public relations assistant at St. Luke's Hospital in Columbus, NC, graduated from the Grassroots Leadership Development Institute (GLDI) on Tuesday, Sept. 13. The Institute is a seven-month training program by The Spartanburg County Foundation, in collaboration with the City of Spartanburg, designed to "inspire participants to assume ownership of critical issues in their community."
Out of several dozen applicants, Owens, a 25-year-old lifelong resident of Spartanburg County, was one of 30 students who graduated Tuesday evening at The Piedmont Club in downtown Spartanburg.
"There were a few times over the past several months where the sessions were so insightful that my brain went into overdrive," Owens said. "I couldn't wait to get back to work or go to the next board meeting to share and apply everything. The class struck a good balance of philosophical and practical, and I feel like I'm a much better asset to the organizations I'm involved with because of GLDI."
Owens is a board member of LGBT advocacy group Upstate Pride SC, a pro bono communications consultant for arts-based charity Hub City Empty Bowls, and a dialogue facilitator for Speaking Down Barriers, in addition to volunteering with other nonprofits in Upstate, SC. He has been an employee of the not-for-profit community hospital in Columbus, NC, since early March 2016. At St. Luke's Hospital, Owens helps manage internal and external communications, advertising, and social media.
GLDI was developed in 2004 to empower budding community leaders to "assume responsibility for positive social change." Nearly 300 people have graduated from GLDI, and it is free to apply.
"I'm a better organizational thinker, a better organizer, and a better giver," Owens said. "I've learned from some of the best, and now I'm energized to lead in new ways with new skills and ideas."
PHOTO: Mitch Kennedy, Director of Community Services for City of Spartanburg, and Troy M. Hanna, President and CEO of The Spartanburg County Foundation, present Cody H. Owens with a certificate for his completion of the 2016 Grassroots Leadership Development Institute. Photo provided by The Spartanburg County Foundation.
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