Our History

In 2004, Joyce Maybin Nesmith was inspired by a public plea for volunteers at the schools served by Charleston County School District. Joyce felt she could serve and encourage others to serve as volunteers at local schools. So, she founded, Beyond Our Walls (BOWs), a non-profit organization to increase the involvement of parents and neighbors at community schools and organize resources to benefit parents and their schoolchildren. She contacted the current superintendent, the late Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson and discussed her desire to help in the schools. Dr. Johnson referred her to work with her associate superintendent in North Charleston.

Former Charleston County School District Associate Superintendent, Dr. Vashti Washington, supervisor of Elementary Schools in the Lowcountry Learning Community- North Charleston, SC, wanted to increase the involvement of parents and neighbors in area schools. Dr. Washington had successfully engaged parents during her career and included community involvement in her district goals. After meeting with Ms. Nesmith, she decided to start a district-wide partnership with BOWs serving as the management and certifying community organization for volunteers.

After spending years on school campuses in North Charleston, early 2014, BOWs Board Members, Donors and Volunteers made contributions to start looking for a location in the neighborhood to provide a meeting place for parents, neighbors, children and volunteers focused on supporting education. On May 10, 2014, BOWs officially started its 10th year hosting the Grand Opening of the new location in the heart of the neighborhood. We are excited about serving families during the hours schools are closed, holidays, weekends, and summer months. Parents and neighbors will support their neighborhood center, "BOWs Meeting Place" by participating in events and activities for children living in the service areas. Our desire is to be a meeting place for educational activities and discussions where all parents and their children can meet. We are also networking with resource providers to help parents learn more about job and career opportunities to improve their lives.

We welcome all who have a heart and desire to get more involved in helping us proclaim our slogan, "Education is A Key For Success".