About Our Founder
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. She founded Beyond Our Walls, Inc. (BOWs), a non-profit organization, with the goal of increasing 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 Low Country Learning Community, 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, working primarily to advance community organization of 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 tenth year by officially opening our 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 are able to support their neighborhood center, known as the "BOWs Meeting Place," by participating in events and activities for children living in the served areas.