ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. — Project Life: Positeen is celebrating 30 years of service to Orangeburg youth. The learning center was opened in 1992 by councilwoman Liz Keitt.
“We knew the Lord had to be a part of it and doing all of this, we just obeyed him because we knew the children needed the help," said Keitt.
She says over the years, the center built a reputation for teaching youth lessons in and out of the classroom. This includes field trips to the Penn Center and other sites in different states.
Akeem Bonaparte was one of the first students at the center three decades ago.
“When they talk about character building now, we started with character building in ‘92 when we first started with Project Life: Positeen because it gave us that structure that we needed, that we didn’t have in the classroom," said Bonaparte.
It has now come full circle for Bonaparte who is an academic advisor for athletics at Claflin University.
“I wanted to give back to students. I want to make sure students are going to grow. I believe that your education comes before everything else," he said.
He says teachers have played a major role in this growth. Kathy Bryant and Beverly Pendarvis, two educators at Project Life, say the work continues.
“We would like to see this building packed to the capacity where as Ms. Keitt will actually have a waiting list of kids waiting to get in. The more that come in, the more we can help," said Pendarvis.