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Our Outreach

To foster creativity and empowerment in the communities we impact, the Auntie Karen Foundation pursues multiple outreach methods that allow us to meet the distinct needs of each individual student. Continue reading to know more about what we do and how you can get involved.

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Artpreneur/Technopreneur Classes

Artpreneur and Technopreneur classes seek to inspire a new generation of business leaders through the arts and technology. We know that students learn by doing, and our classes allow free expression in an unrivaled environment.


Classes include activities such as: sewing, visual arts, creative cooking, dance, music, spoken word, African Drums and more.

Gordon's Garden

Gordon - an overweight, purple Jamaican yam - serves as a symbol for change and leads outreach with other Jamaican yam characters through Gordon's Garden.

Gordon's Garden is a program designed to inspire healthy living habits in students at a young age. The topics addressed in Gordon's Garden are featured in music, books and videos.

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Hugs From Carolina

In a partnership with Auntie Karen Inc. and City Light Inc., Hugs From Carolina was born. As a division of Hugs Around the World, Hugs From Carolina features the character Olivia the Octopus spreading hugs to survivors of Hurricane Katrina.


The initiative first launched in Biloxi, Mississippi in October 2005 with the distribution of child "adoption kits" which included an Olivia the Octopus plush toy and a copy of the book Olivia Gave a Hug Today. 

Now, Hugs From Carolina reaches communities through outreach initiatives and campaigns with the purpose to spread compassion to the people that need it most.

Young Entrepreneurs Conference

Since 2003, the annual Young Entrepreneurs Conference has gathered youth from ages seven to twenty-two with the purpose to foster economic empowerment. 

Each year, Benedict College generously hosts the conference where ten entrepreneurs under the age of 25 showcase their skills and achievements. Attendees have the opportunity to gain inspiration from their peers and support each entrepreneur's talent.

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"Legends of..." Series

"Legends of..." is a comprehensive salute to African American achievements in the arts.  Each year during Black History Month the series celebrates through four distinct events:

  • "Legends of..." Concert & Silent Auction at the Koger Center for the Arts

  • "Legends of..." Master Class with the University of South Carolina

  • Black History in Art with the Columbia Museum of Art

  • Lunch & Learn series

Artpreneur/Technopreneur Classes
Gordon's Garden
Hugs From Carolina
Young Entrepreneurs Conference
"Legends of..." Series

Contact Auntie Karen Foundation

Know someone that can benefit from our outreach? Have an idea for a partnership?

Contact us today to discuss how we can impact your community.

Thanks for submitting!

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