Supported by Movement 2030 investment, United Way of the Piedmont announces two Higher Education Community Resource Coordinators

June 24, 2024

Despite billions in economic investment over the last decade, Spartanburg ranks in the bottom 10% of counties nationwide for economic mobility. Movement 2030 is an unprecedented community-led initiative in Spartanburg to address this challenge.

Designed by over 30 diverse partners, Movement 2030 is an evidence-based plan that seeks to substantially increase the number of Spartanburg County residents with college degrees and help close the academic achievement gap faced by students from low-income families. As one of the Movement 2030 implementation partners, United Way of the Piedmont is focused on supporting post-secondary strategy to ensure students are on their way to economic mobility and ready for careers through the Higher Education Community Resource Coordinator (CRC) cohort.

The Higher Education CRCs help students meet critical needs, overcome barriers to financial self-sufficiency, and create pathways to stability. CRCs conduct intensive case management with students, including determining their strengths and needs, providing services, making referrals, assisting in developing self-motivated goals, and regularly following up to make sure students achieve their goals and persist through graduation.

“Having a Higher Education Community Resource Coordinator on campus allows us to offer more in-depth services to students most in need of them. We are also able to multiply our resources to students by more efficiently tapping into other community resources to provide greater support for students facing other issues like homelessness, transportation issues, or mental health challenges,” said Courtney Shelton, Vice President for Student & Professional Development at Spartanburg Methodist College.

United Way is proud to announce that Erika Pearson transitioned from a United Way Workplace CRC role to the Higher Education role in 2023. Erika now works with Spartanburg Methodist College and USC Upstate and has already made a significant impact on the students she serves.

“Our Higher Education Community Resource Coordinator, Erika, helped our students navigate some truly challenging situations this year and put them on a path for success during difficult life events. We’re grateful for our partnership with United Way of the Piedmont and Erika’s commitment to our students and their well-being,” shared Allen Lollis, Dean of Students at Spartanburg Methodist College.

Joining Pearson as the second Higher Education CRC is Sommer Means. Sommer works with Spartanburg Community College and Converse University students.

“Knowledge is power, and as a Higher Education, CRC, I’m happy to be a resource to those seeking knowledge so they can use that as a power tool to navigate their future,” shared Sommer.

To learn more about UWP’s work in education, visit


About United Way of the Piedmont

United Way of the Piedmont is a local nonprofit that strengthens educational opportunity, economic mobility, and access to healthcare for families in Cherokee, Spartanburg, and Union Counties. We convene partners and mobilize resources to carry out our mission to connect, engage, and inspire people to transform our community. We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to thrive, and that means everyone. Learn more at