Five years ago, Zakiya Esper, then a juvenile probation officer, tired of funneling kids into ineffective programs. Fueled by her own story of struggling in college but finding a career, she took a leap of faith and created a nonprofit focused on interrupting the school-to-prison pipeline.
Deputy Police Chief Melron Kelly’s first assignment as a rookie Columbia cop was part of a much-publicized attempt to change community policing. It’s turned into an 18-year love affair with Historic Waverly.
Aspirations have always been part Columbia’s Historic Waverly, a center of South Carolina’s civil rights movement. Two men, James Baker and Frank Houston, now say it’s time to again turn dreams to reality and restore Waverly, but it remains a struggle.