Spring 2008 Clemente Class
Charleston Clemente Project: Hope Through the Humanities
The Charleston Clemente Courses are free college-level humanities courses that are offered to disadvantaged people in the Charleston area, in the hope that a study of classical literature, philosophy, art, and history can offer a way out of poverty through intellectual freedom. Trident Technical College is indebted to The Humanities Council SC for the funding to initiate and continue
this transformational project.
What Clemente participants have said about the course:
"I was in shock, in purgatory - not in heaven and not in hell. I had ceases participating in everyday life." She claims the Clemente Course got her "mind working", brightened her outlook, and reminded her of "how much fun learning was."
The Clemente Course put me in a situation where I had to look outside myself, at other people, at other views, at other ways of thinking. "You can get so insular in poverty that nothing impacts you." I was dragged out of aloneness by the Clemente class.
The person I used to be was someone "who drank a lot, used drugs frequently, and went to prison." After getting clean and sober, I joined the Clemente Course. "Clemente gave me an awareness of the need for education. It taught me how to understand politics, the economy and the news on television. It made me a part of society."
"Clemente gave me the courage to go to college. It made me realize that I CAN do college and that college really IS for me."
I now define success as "the ability to help others." Success is "going to bed knowing that I got outside myself enough to help someone else." For the first time I now think that I have "something to contribute to society." I now organize fundraisers for the Clemente Course to give back.