Midlands-area high school students benefit from Moore School programs before, during and after enrolling at USC or other colleges
Moore School marketing sophomore Clifford “Tripp” Bourke III is a shining example of the talent pipeline program the Moore School has been developing over the past five years for South Carolina-resident students.
Bourke, a second-generation Gamecock whose parents met at USC, said growing up that he was proud of the hard-working and college-graduate example his mom, an HR staffer, and dad, an attorney, set for him and his sister, who also graduated from USC in 2019.
“College and education have always been at the forefront of my mind,” Bourke said. “There was once a time when people in my family weren’t allowed to educate themselves, so I see any opportunity to educate myself as a blessing.”
While college has always been the plan for Bourke, he was undecided on a possible major or career in high school until he participated in the Moore School’s opportunity programs.
Before he was even sure about declaring business as a major, Bourke participated in the inaugural Dominion Energy Power Forward Program his junior year of high school at Westwood High School in Richland School District Two.
The Power Forward Program is an innovative pipeline program between the Moore School and high school students in Richland County School District One and Richland School District Two.
The Power Forward Program provides a path to enrollment at the Moore School, career mentoring, field studies, conferences and other programming for local high school students. The program seeks to spark students' interest in business careers while linking them to the unmatched resources at the world-renowned Moore School.
The Moore School recently celebrated the continued partnership for the Power Forward Program with Dominion Energy, the two school districts and current participants with their families.
“I want to thank Dominion for making good on their promise to support underserved students — don’t just say it, do it. They have proven that, and that’s why we’re celebrating this amazing partnership,” said Cheryl Harris, chairwoman of the Richland One Board of School Commissioners who attended the event.
Richland One Superintendent Craig Witherspoon and Angela Nash, vice chair of the Richland Two board, both encouraged the student participants of the Power Forward Program to take advantage of every opportunity as they determine their future.
“Don’t discount yourself; you’re doing something phenomenal,” Nash told the students. “Take every opportunity. Wake up every morning and see what the next adventure is in life. You’ll be happy you didn’t sit on the sidelines and took this opportunity.”
Before learning about USC and the Moore School in the Power Forward program, Bourke said he dreamt of attending an out-of-state college because he thought it would add value to his education.
“Power Forward showcased the amazing multicultural experiences and abundant opportunities at the Darla Moore School of Business that were less than 20 minutes away from home,” Bourke said. “Power Forward also made me aware of how powerful a business degree is; business impacts every facet of our lives. Everything around us is a business, and before I attended Power Forward, that was not evident to me.”
South Carolina Business Week
Along with Power Forward, Bourke developed a general interest in business after attending the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce’s Business Week summer program for the two summers before becoming a Moore School student. He spent summer 2023 as an intern for the Business Week program.
The Moore School partners with the SC Chamber for Business Week, a week-long intensive
business and leadership program provided for South Carolina high school students.
The rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors spent the week living in a
USC residence hall and heard from more than 30 prominent business executives and Moore
School faculty on topics including finance, marketing, leadership, entrepreneurship
and business ethics.
Taking on another leadership role along with the internship for Business Week, Bourke is currently a resident advisor for the Rising Scholars living and learning community in the Celia Dial Saxon Residence Hall; he himself is also a Rising Scholar.
The Rising Scholars program, which entered its sixth year in 2023-24, connects South Carolina-resident students pursuing degrees within the Moore School with key opportunities and resources across campus.
In the program, students attend a tailored session of the University 101 first-year experience course; participate in customized academic, professional development and social activities; network with successful alumni; connect with faculty and peer mentors; have access to peer tutors and ad hoc academic resources; receive personal finance education; and more.
Rising Scholars with demonstrated financial need may be awarded renewable scholarships.
Like all the Rising Scholars, Bourke is taking advantage of the opportunities available for him to thrive and succeed at USC and beyond.
“[Bourke] embodies what we’re trying to accomplish with our pipeline programs,” said Hazzard, an associate dean at the Moore School. “The Moore School is reaching out to area high school students to help them understand the value of education in South Carolina. If you provide resources, academic mentors and high-impact learning practices, the research says underrepresented students can succeed.”
Hazzard, herself a graduate of Richland County School District One and a recent inductee into their Richland One Hall of Fame, said in addition to creating access and opportunity for in-state students, the Moore School’s pipeline programs also encourage South Carolina natives to stay in the state after graduation and contribute to the state’s success and vitality.
“The Moore School is committed to creating, enhancing and sustaining a plethora of innovative programs and initiatives to attract, support, retain and graduate more South Carolina-resident students,” Hazzard said. “We believe our in-state students are more likely to remain in, return to or stay closely connected with the state of South Carolina. Thus, changing their lives through education can change the trajectories of our in-state students while positively impacting our state’s economic and workforce development efforts once they graduate and stay in South Carolina.”