Upstate-Carolina Adaptive Golf (UCAG)

Upstate-Carolina Adaptive Golf (UCAG)

Written by: Brandon Worley, UCAG Founder/Executive Director

Brandon Worley signed up for the Army after graduating high school in 2010 from Clinton High. Brandon served active duty as an artillery mechanic from July 2010- July 2014. Worley founded Upstate-Carolina Adaptive Golf (UCAG) in October 2018 while working on his Master of Science in Positive Psychology at Life University.  Worley was inspired after volunteering for a Georgia State Golf Association adaptive golf program for visually impaired children hosted by David Windsor and now operates UCAG as the Executive Director.  Worley has attended 2 national adaptive golf coach workshops hosted by David Windsor and is dedicated to the mission of UCAG to serve individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities and provide opportunities for adaptive golf. UCAG serves veterans, individuals recovering from physical or mental trauma, adults and children with developmental, cognitive, and physical disabilities.  Brandon hosted an adaptive golf coach training at Clemson University in April 2019 and UCAG been operating consistent adaptive golf clinics since July 2019.  Brandon just recently graduated in Dec 2020 with his Masters in Positive Psychology with a concentration in coaching.

The mission of Upstate-Carolina Adaptive Golf (UCAG) is to serve individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities and provide opportunities for adaptive golf. UCAG serves veterans, individuals recovering from physical or mental trauma, adults and children with developmental, cognitive, and physical disabilities.
UCAG’s programming improves physical & mental health, overall wellness, and access to innovative therapy for adaptive athletes in our community. UCAG believes anyone can discover their abilities (not their disabilities) when given the opportunity, we exist to provide that opportunity for everyone.

UCAG’s therapeutic approach to adaptive golf coaching establishes a “no-fail” environment for those new to golf and utilizes adaptive equipment to maximize all levels of abilities. Our coaches implement mindfulness-based cognitive strategies to increase confidence, establish independence, and positively impact mental and physical health. The involvement in a community of people overcoming obstacles and pursuing common goals is therapeutic, and the opportunities to socialize and learn together that we provide are paramount. Our clinics provide benchmarks for improvements in physical health, psycho-social status, cognitive status, and recreation activity within the community to measure our impact on length and quality of life in the greater Greenville disabled Veteran and special needs communities. Galvanized by the ability to enhance lives, UCAG passionately pursues continued development and growth of our programming and capability to increase opportunities to make an impact on and provide a community for the participants we serve.

Website: www.ucagnow.org
Youtube channel:   https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl7UDqsyaJqzYyNI8wissSA
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/upstatecarolinaadaptivegolf

Our monthly Veteran & Community Adaptive Golf Clinics:
Every 3rd Monday of the month at Topgolf 10:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Every 4th Monday of the month at Shanks driving range 4:15 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

Minority Financial Summit

Minority Financial Summit

A Dynamic Collaboration

Several agencies collaborated to plan and execute The Minority Financial Summit.

The following individuals were instrumental in delivering a webinar that was well-received by attendees:

Brenton Brown, presenter, SC Commission for Minority Affairs

Tammie Greene and Sonja Barkley, presenters, SC Department of Commerce

Natasha Pitts, City of Spartanburg

Jalitha Moore, One Spartanburg

Katrina Meeks, SC SBDC

It is common for small businesses and start-ups to need funding to operate or expand their business. Unfortunately, many of these owners and entrepreneurs do not know where to find financial assistance, nor how to apply for it. A key function of the SC Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is connecting clients with funding options unique to their business needs and helping them apply for these programs. With small businesses floundered in the wake of COVID-19, Spartanburg Area Manager Katrina Meeks decided to take this initiative one step further with the Minority Financial Summit webinar training.The Minority Financial Summit was designed to advance and foster lender relationships and connections, specifically for minority-owned small businesses. The webinar educated attendees on funding options available within the community and discussed the criteria lenders look for when deciding to fund various projects. It also addressed the disparities that minorities often experience when working to secure small business funding.

Meeks developed the curriculum not only for those seeking a business loan or grant, but also for anyone interested in understanding how the SBA supports small businesses or how each of the “4 C’s” (customer, cost, convenience, and communication) factors into the longevity of a business. The event was promoted through the SBDC’s extensive network, as well as through each participating member’s social media account and through each participating agency’s resource partner database.

Over 300 people from throughout the state of South Carolina submitted interest in the webinar, and 127 people attended. The summit featured a lineup of panelists including Community Development Loan Officer Joseph Dukes, Dixon Woodward of United Community Bank, Lee Belcher of Synovus Bank, and Frank Anderson of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The speakers talked about how businesses can strengthen their financial impact, and also provided financial information for entrepreneurs looking to start a new business. The collaboration between speakers from different agencies offered a dynamic variety of perspectives and was applauded by attendees—many of which encouraged the SBDC to host the event again in 2022.

“Your program was excellent,” said Erin Ouzts of Ten at the Top. “The guest speakers were knowledgeable and covered topics relevant to the audience. Thank you for making this happen.”

                

TATT Chat with Robyn Grable, Founder & CEO of Veterans ASCEND/Ability ASCEND

TATT Chat with Robyn Grable, Founder & CEO of Veterans ASCEND/Ability ASCEND

Robyn Grable, Founder & CEO of Veterans ASCEND/Ability ASCEND

Visit the veteransascend.com and abilityascend.org (in production) websites to learn about these hiring models and how they align talent across businesses and organizations matched on skills, location and salary requirements. See the presentation here and watch a recording of the TATT Chat here.

TATT Announcements

See upcoming TATT events here.

Resource Update

Upstate Warrior Solution, Theresa Thompson, Deputy Director

Serves all veterans and opening up services to first responders

Local nonprofit born and raised in the Upstate with all money raised locally including grant funding, corporate donations, event fundraising, and private donations

Partnering with PRISMA (and soon Spartanburg Regional) to identify veterans in need following medical treatment

TATT Chat Recap – Broadband in the Upstate

TATT Chat Recap – Broadband in the Upstate

Guest Speakers, Tom Allen, Director of Safety, Transportation, and Emergency Response, South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff, Jim Stritzinger, Founder, President & CEO, Revolution D, Inc., and Shannon Sears, Director of Commercial Operations, West Carolina Tel on Broadband in the Upstate

Please see video recording to view presentations and comments. View presentation here.

Q & A and Links

Q: Who is eligible to apply for the grants?

A: Providers are eligible and entities are encouraged to advocate local providers to apply.

Q: Do you know if USAC is going to expand E-rate to include another category for home?  Can we use the grant to provide for our 20% match?

A: This is the link to the new funding available from ORS and the Department of Commerce -https://ors.sc.gov/broadband/funding/rural-broadband-grant-program

Here is the link to the map.  Please keep in mind that there are errors and we are working with ISPs and vendor to correct –  https://ors.sc.gov/broadband/funding/rural-broadband-grant-program

Thank you to our funding partners:

Current Supporters

3/9/21 UEE Workshop: Conversations to Avoid Intellectual Property Calamities:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMvcOyurjkqGdHOFP4ufKyFmli74Ri7XuXq

3/24/21 at 10:00 am: UPP Workshop: Northside Community Update:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYrceyppj0sGd08f3tdrAlHHK_CD4x-D5VF

Check out the Upstate Vibe calendar:

#UPSTATEVIBE365 CALENDAR

Please join us for the next TATT CHAT on March 18 at 3pm: Maintaining Mental Health:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYofuuhqz8iHdUWk6BBTjyls0ucfffJBe1l

The EJ Small Grants and EJ CPS RFAs are now live. Closing date is May 7, 2021.

Eligible entities include:

  • Non-profits
  • U.S. territories
  • Tribal Governments (both federally recognized and state-recognized)
  • Native American Organizations
  • Small grants are for $50,000 each. Looking to fund approximately 56 nationwide with about 5 per region.

CPS awards are for $160,000 each. Looking to fund 20 nationwide with approximately 2 per region.

Areas of emphasis include projects focusing on:

  • COVID-19 impacts on underserved communities (both)
  • Climate/Disaster Resiliency (both)
  • Ports Initiative projects (small grants)
  • Projects from small non-profits of 10 or fewer employees (small grants)
  • New applicants and grantees (both)

County Updates

Abbeville County – Stephen Taylor, Economic Development Director

  • Our unemployment numbers have improved greatly: 13.9 to 4.8
  • As a rural community we are glad to see infrastructure growth
  • Upper Savannah Virtual Workforce Day was a success (link); WCTEL participated
  • Abbeville is looking closely at public transportation options

Union County  – Taylor Atkinson, Executive Director, Union County Library

  • We have recently hired a full time social worker at the Library (SC Native; has connections and is aware of the local resources) who is doing outreach in our area
  • As a workaround to broadband, the library is an “anchor institution” mandated to have internet access by the FCC. In rural parts of Union County they can provide internet to at little to no cost to the community and are working on expanding several other sites in Union County
  • Open up for limited library browsing hours and pick ups
BBB Warns Tax Season Is Here, But So Are Scammers

BBB Warns Tax Season Is Here, But So Are Scammers

The United States’ tax season is here, and so are the scammers. Con artists use the Social Security numbers of unsuspecting Americans to file phony tax returns and steal refunds. On way to protect this information is to use an Identity Protection PIN issued by the IRS. In fact, a number may have been issues to you last year if you file a return online. Be aware of online identity theft with these tips.

The scam works when online filers that go through the IRS website usually expect a refund. Instead, a written IRS notice arrives in the mail, stating that more than one tax return was filed using their Social Security number.

What happened, Scammers got hold of personal information, typically the account holder’s Social Security, number, address, and birth date.  They filed your return early and received your refund before you even got around to filing.  Tax ID theft is a particularly sneaky con, because victims don’t realize they’ve been targeted until they file their taxes.

Scammers steal tax information in several ways, such as a phishing scam, a corrupt tax preparation service, or the information was exposed in a hack or data breach. Sometimes tax scammers file in the name of a deceased person or steal children’s identities to claim them as dependents.

How to Avoid Tax ID Theft Scams

  • File early. The best way to avoid tax identity is to file your taxes early as possible, before a scammer has the chance to use your information.
  • Watch out for red flags. If a written notice from the IRS arrives in the mail about a duplicate return, respond promptly. Or, is an IRS notice arrives stating you received wages from somewhere you never worked or receive other notices that don’t apply to you, contact the IRS immediately. Another big deal is if you receive a notice that “additional taxes or owed, the refund will be offset or a collection action is being taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return” (IRS). Contact the IRS if you have any suspicions that your identity has been stolen.
  • Protect your Social Security number. Don’t give out your SSN unless there’s a good reason, and you’re sure who you’re giving it to.
  • If you are a victim of ID theft, consider getting an Identity Protection Pin (IP PIN). This is a six-digit number, which, in addition to your Social Security number, confirms your identity. Once you apply, you must provide the IP Pin each year when you file your federal tax returns. Visit IRS.gov for more information.

For More Information

If you are the victim of tax identity in the U.S., contact the IRS at 1-800-908-4490 and consider filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP. The FTC also offers a personalized identity theft recovery plan at identitytheft.gov

If you’re targeted by this scam or other scams, help others avoid the same problem by reporting your experience to BBB.org/ScamTracker.  You can also call BBB of the Upstate office that covers all ten counties in the Upstate at 864.242.5052 or email info@upstatesc.bbb.org to discuss the scam situation and be sure to ask before instead of after becoming a victim.

By International Association of Better Business Bureaus

Submitted to Ten at the Top by Vee Daniel, BBB of the Upstate President/CEO 

TATT Chat Recap – January 21, 2021

TATT Chat Recap – January 21, 2021

Ten at the Top Update, Dean Hybl

Year in Review 2020 released – thank you to our partners for their continued support!

Next week is Sneak Pique, Wednesday, January 27 from 10:00am-11:00am, featuring training and recruitment specialists from Scansource presenting Networking in a Digital Age. Register here.

February 3 from 3:00pm-4:00pm is the Upstate Entrepreneur Ecosystem Workshop on the Second Draw of PPP with Kunal Parikh, Policy Advisor from Senator Tim Scott’s office, and Earl Gregorich of the Greenville Area Small Business Development Center. Register here.

February 24 from 10:00am-11:00am is the Upstate Professional Planners Group Workshop with the Upstate Mobility Alliance and Greenlink, an interactive model exercise for the Freedom Mobility program. Register here.

Upstate Mobility Alliance, Michael Hildebrand

    • Kicking off quarterly series focused on the connection between transportation and community vibrancy
    • In February 23 meeting with city managers from the Golden Strip, Mauldin, Simpsonville and Fountain Inn, and county administrator for Laurens County, and how they see communities growing and in the next 20 years and the role transportation plays
    • Next up Jody Bryson with ITIC for podcast series

Spartanburg, Cherokee, Union Counties – readySC, LaTokia Trigg

    • Latokia is the Representative Area Director for the Spartanburg Community College service area
    • readySC is part of the SC Technical College system that assists new and expanding industry with recruitment and training
    • There are currently projects open in Spartanburg and Cherokee Counties
    • All projects have adjusted to COVID-19 including AIRYSS Technologies, one posting available at sctechjobs.com
    • Following CDC guidelines for training, some in-person trainings

Greenwood County – Barbara Ann Heegan, Greenwood Chamber of Commerce

    • Conducting survey and listening tour of members and non-members to gauge how businesses are doing, results next week
    • Economic Development initiative, Greenwood Together, to advance economic and community development that will enhance the quality of life in Greenwood County, partnering with industry recruitment retention efforts of county, Discover Greenwood and the Uptown Development Corporation to market assets across all sectors
    • Public transportation work ongoing with county

View the presentation here.

View a video recap here.