About Upstate Circle of Friends
Upstate Circle Of friends is a nonprofit organization that is located here in Greenville, South Carolina. Our mission is committed to expanding opportunities, enhancing the quality of life, and the progression of at-risk children, children with disabilities, and their families through various educational recreation, and social programs.
Upstate Circle of Friends was founded in May 2006 by President and CEO, Ms. Deloris Summers, have always had to rely on family members to help with their special needs son, Aaron. In April 2006, she was challenged with finding someone to care for him during the summer. It was at that time, she decided to start a summer program for special needs children. Consequently, she resigned her position from the Greenville County School District and established Upstate Circle of Friends. During that summer five special needs children were served.
In February 2007, George Singleton, Vice President and COO of Upstate Circle Of friends partnered with Ms. Summers and continued to strengthen and assist with additional enrichment and funding resources that focus on the adult and youth programs of UCF.
In May 2007, UCF served 20 special needs children and 50 at-risk youth from Fleetwood Apartments and Aladdin Manor Apartments. Because of this growth, Ms. Summer's staff increased from two in 2006 to ten in 2007. In the fall of 2007, she began an after-school program, which served 15 youth who were at-risk through a partnership with the Department of Juvenile Justice.
In the summer of 2008, UCF enrolled 130 youth. Twenty special needs children were served, and 110 at-risk youth were served. In 2009, the summer program enrolled 220 students. Because of the statewide budget cuts, the enrollment decreased to18 special needs students. Having no other programs in Greenville County like this, parents with special needs children have had to previously give up their careers to stay home and care for their children. UCF brings hope to these families by helping with economic hardships that accompany single parent/special needs responsibilities.
Ms. Summers has been selected as one of the "seven" women making history in Greenville County, she was recognized on, March 29, 2010, at the Carolina First Center.
During the summer of 2011, Upstate Circle of Friends was approved to provided Health Lunches and Snacks to over 100 at risk youth along with partner the Greenville YMCA.
August 2011, Upstate Circle of Friends was recognized by the Department of Juvenile Justice for services that promotes Diversity of Community Partnerships & Programs
September 2012, Mr. Singleton was selected to be a part of the Furman University Diversity Leaders initiative's Upstate class xIII.
August 26, 2013 Deloris and George co-founded Quest Leadership Academy Charter School where the Mission of the charter was to establish a solid, core based educational program and develop exceptional learners and leadership scholars who achieve their highest potential.
February 4, 2014 The Department of Juvenile Justice awarded Upstate Circle of Friends a five year Job Readiness Training "JRT" paid intern program for teens between the ages of 14 -17 years of age. The missions of the JRT program is to improve the overall functioning of at risk high school students at home in school, and in the community.