About the SC Palmetto Leadership Academy
The SC Palmetto Leadership Academy (SCPLA) is a program of the CVSC Education Fund that focuses on recruiting, training, growing, and supporting tomorrow’s conservation leaders.
We identify and educate aspiring public servants about critical conservation and environmental issues at the state and local level, the role local boards and commissions have in protecting our health and environment, how to successfully seek appointment to public boards and commissions, and how to navigate the complexities of public service as an effective member of a board or commission.
Develop Civic Leadership Skills
The SCPLA helps our fellows develop civic leadership skills by providing monthly trainings, pairing fellows with one-on-one coaching with mentors, and providing hands-on experience with parliamentary procedure, how decisions are made, and more. Fellows will leave the program with an in-depth understanding of how Boards & Commissions operate and how their decisions shape conservation and environmental policy in communities.
Provide Policy Training
While SCPLA participants are not required to have previous conservation and environmental policy experience, our fellows will gain critical policy knowledge during the program in order to give them the tools they need to successfully advance conservation and environmental policy while serving on a local board or commission. In addition, the program will explore the interconnections between environment, health, poverty, housing, transit, and more – highlighting how conservation and environmental policy is woven throughout nearly every local Board and Commission’s charge.
The SCPLA program is designed to increase the representative diversity on South Carolina boards and commissions by recruiting women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQIA+, and other underrepresented groups to serve on appointed boards and commissions. Conservative-minded conservationists are also encouraged to apply as we believe that political and partisan diversity within the conservation movement is also necessary to build durable and bipartisan solutions to environmental challenges facing South Carolina communities.
Who Should Apply
We are looking for individuals who deeply desire to drive change in their community and feel they are called to public service. We seek individuals who want to grow their network and expand their policy knowledge to help improve the health and environment in their community.
Prior political, advocacy, and/or policy experience are NOT required to be considered for the SCPLA. This program aims to grow and develop aspiring leaders who want to serve but don’t know how to begin. If you match that description, then submit an application.
The Palmetto Leadership Academy is a six-month-long program with two meetings per month. The program will have sessions that cover each of the following topics:
- Understanding the roles of State and Local Government in South Carolina
- What are Boards and Commissions: What Do They Do? How Do I Serve? And Do I Qualify?
- Basics of clean energy, clean water, and land protection policies
- How to Draft and Pass Policies & Programing on a Board or Commission
- The ABCs of Securing a Board or Commission Appointment (including building a professional portfolio and running an appointment campaign)
- You’ve Been Appointed—Now What? Being an Effective Board Member
- Understand Public Budgets and Finances
- Robert Rules of Order and Parliamentary Produces
How to Apply
Please fill out the application below to be considered for the SCPLA program. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Interviews will be conducted for each SCPLA cohort. The first cohort is expected to be selected by July 1, 2023, with programming beginning in late July or August.
“It’s my privilege to guide and empower aspiring public servants who are dedicated to preserving our health and environment in South Carolina. We believe in the crucial role that local boards and commissions play in safeguarding our communities, and we equip our participants with the knowledge and skills needed to make a meaningful impact. We strive to ensure their success in seeking appointments to these influential bodies, guiding them in navigating the complexities of public service. Together, we can cultivate effective members who will protect our health, environment, and the well-being of future generations.”