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home : news : greenwood January 22, 2019

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1/8/2019 12:32:00 PM
Greenwood Promise Receives Support from Countybank Foundation

As Piedmont Technical College (PTC) students return from winter break, The Greenwood Promise scholarship program celebrates the impact it has already had on post-secondary education across Districts 50, 51, and 52. The Countybank Foundation, which was established in 1971 and represents Countybank and Greenwood Capital, donated $20,000 to The Greenwood Promise as part of a five-year plan to donate a total of $100,000.

This year alone, PTC has seen a significant increase in its level of enrollment. “The recent success of The Greenwood Promise has been phenomenal, and I would like to thank those who make a financial investment in this organization,” said J. Ron Millender, Promise Committee Chairman. “It is those, like Countybank and Greenwood Capital, who support The Greenwood Promise that make the dream of a college education possible for so many in our community.”

Ron explains that the percentage of Greenwood County high school graduates enrolled in either a two- or four-year college exceeded the South Carolina state average for the first time in 2017. Previously, Greenwood County was more than 10% below the state average and has seen an increase of 28% in the number of high school graduates enrolled at PTC in the first two years of The Greenwood Promise in comparison to the four years prior.

“It has been inspiring to see the community in Greenwood County come together to ensure that the transformative power of a college education is available to every student,” said Josh Black, Vice President, Student Affairs and Communications, Piedmont Technical College. “By making the promise of a quality college education financially accessible for every K-12 student in the county, the program has already begun to change attitudes and behavior related to college attendance and educational attainment.”

The Greenwood Promise is dependent on funding from private and public donations, which makes support from the community essential. Countybank, a local community bank founded in Greenwood, and Greenwood Capital, an investment management firm, have been there from the beginning.

“We recognized the need for a program like The Greenwood Promise and the impact it would have on the Greenwood community,” said David Tompkins, Senior Vice President, Greenwood Market Executive of Countybank. “Student debt is a real challenge for parents and young adults alike. We are honored to contribute to an organization that offers a solution to this problem and sets Greenwood students up for success,” said Walter Todd, III, President and CIO of Greenwood Capital.

Countybank’s President and CEO, R. Thornwell Dunlap, III is no stranger to foundation’s work and the important role programs like The Greenwood Promise play. The bank has firm roots in the Greenwood community, and Dunlap currently serves as a member of the Greenwood Partnership Alliance Foundation for a Greater Greenwood County board of directors.

“Service and community are an important part of our history, and Countybank and Greenwood Capital’s mission continues to center around these important pillars,” said Dunlap. “We are honored to support this important initiative and look forward to seeing students thrive as a result of The Greenwood Promise.”

Tuition assistance for Greenwood students attending South Carolina technical colleges is just the first step in The Greenwood Promise’s phased plan. Ultimately, the program is intended to positively impact high school graduation rates, postsecondary education attainment, workforce development, and job creation.

For more information about The Greenwood Promise, visit

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