Real Champions Inc. was created by Dr. Carl Martin and Ned McNair in 2016 to fulfill a desire both men have been harboring for years: ending poverty. Carl is from the small South Carolina town of Elloree in the coastal plain and Ned has lived in the South Carolina Lowcountry for the past 48 years. The poverty and inequity displayed throughout the South Carolina Coastal Plain have tugged at their heartstrings for decades. These two men merged their desire and backgrounds to pursue their dream. The astounding fact that the poverty rate in America has not changed in the previous 54 years helped them realize that current programs and ways of thinking, while helpful, were not decreasing what is known as cyclical or generational poverty. They understood that something had to be done to reach those trapped in a deep vortex of poverty.
Their research discovered and refined “Professional Advocate Mentoring” an entirely new approach to generational change and the hope of eradicating cyclical poverty. The two men began to structure and formalize an organization and program based on long-term relationship mentoring. Conducted by trained, professional, full-time staff that would start earlier with children, go deeper into their world, and stay longer with their rising generation. This format would give them the coping skills to manage their circumstances, a firm hope in a different future from that of previous generations, the vision to see more achievable possibilities, and the tools needed to understand and climb the rungs of success so available to the middle and upper classes.
Carl and Ned began to share their plans with friends and soon had raised enough money to begin to staff the organization, formalize their program, logic model, training manuals all the other documents required to establish an ongoing work. On February 1, 2017 after a generous gift by a Hilton Head family, Carl became the full-time Executive and Development Director. The Board of Directors was established immediately, and a part-time executive assistant was hired. In 2019 a Program Director, Ricardo Perry was added to the team.
In 2020 we added our Associate Director of Development, Megan Tice, and our first four Advocate Mentors. These Advocate Mentor’s are currently working with 20 of Jasper Counties most vulnerable children and we are adding more to our roster every day. We are currently raising the $650,000 needed to hire three new mentors and sustain our existing model. If you are interested in being involved with our work, or learning more about our methods or vision, please click here.