By Darius Stephens-York | Photos By Daniel Goings
The Haven Newberry was created by four friends from Newberry County: Amir Cromer, Jaleel Gilliam, Daniel Goings, and Darius Stephens-York. All graduates of Newberry High School, we felt called to become more visible to the younger generation and offer them mentorship. The founders said that there simply were not a lot of positive things to do in the community, so they began creating activities for middle school and high school students. During the summer of 2022, The Haven Newberry met weekly on Fridays in downtown Newberry at Genesis Hub. During those morning meetings, each student was given an opportunity to not only learn tangible skills but to also build relationships with their peers and older people from the community.
During the summer, The Haven was visited by many community members including Chief Kevin Goodman, Superintendent Alvin Pressley, Chris Kemper of EMILY Marketing, Moe Hassan of Mo3Soles, and more that spoke encouraging words to the students about pursuing their dreams and breaking away from what has been coined “The Newberry Mentality.” The founders of The Haven Newberry believe that too many students believe that they are not capable, or that their dreams are limited to the communities in which they are familiar, but through “Love, Growth, and Relationships’’ the organization seeks to show these students that anything is possible if they put their minds to it.
The Haven Newberry remains active during the school year by hosting events, offering mentorship, and simply being a resource of positivity for the students. Students that attend Haven Newberry events have direct communication with older individuals who have a similar background that have achieved great things. Our mentors provide a listening ear and advice to keep pushing forward. The 501(c)(3) non-profit organization hopes to continue to grow and serve the Newberry community for years to come. Stay connected with the group through Facebook (The Haven Newberry) and Instagram (@thehavennewberry).