Members of LEAD participate in an activity while on a retreat

Leadership and Service

Development of Student Leadership

Our Leadership and Service programs are provide students with leadership education, experience, and service opportunities so they can become effective leaders and active community participants. Through these opportunities you will build the soft skills that employers seek like collaboration, professional communication, and social responsibility.

Leadership Programs

The Office of Student Involvement offers the following cohort (group) and retreat based Leadership Development opportunities.To get involved please contact the Office of Student Involvement at 864-503-5122 or by email.

FLEX (Freshman Leadership Experience)

In the FLEX program, freshman students come together to participate in training and activities that focus on leadership and personal development.  Students will discover their own values and learn about topics like goal-setting, planning, and leadership. Students will participate in a two-day, off-campus retreat and bi-monthly leadership education sessions.  Each student will be paired with an upperclass mentor who exemplifies leadership, service, and academic excellence. Students who are interested in developing leadership and career skills and who wish to be campus leaders should apply.  Applications will be available in the summer and are due in August.

Flex Application

WiLD (Women in Leadership Development)

The Women in Leadership Development (WiLD) program is a cohort-based, year-long program for upper-class, undergraduate women at USC Upstate. WiLD encourages service, action, and development of personal skills, while creating a supportive community that empowers women to find their leadership voices. It is the goal of this program for graduates to serve as mentors to future participants and to pursue leadership roles at USC Upstate or in their community. 

Application criteria and participant expectations:

  • Applicants do NOT have to currently serve in a formal leadership role on campus
  • Completion of at least 30 credit hours (Sophomore status or higher)
  • 2.5 Minimum Cumulative GPA
  • Must attend all mandatory WiLD events

Leadership N.O.W.

No Opportunities Wasted.  As a leader, one must make the most of every opportunity. Each August, student leaders are invited to participate in an off-campus, 2-day retreat that focuses on topics related to leadership. Applications for this program are available in the Spring Semester.

Service Programs and Opportunities

Whether you need to complete hours for a student organization or simply enjoy giving back to your community, there are many ways to volunteer your service through our campus. To inquire about service opportunities please contact Dr. Deb Kladivko in the Office for Service Learning and Community Engagement (OSLCE) at 864-503-5106 or by email.

Community Agency Volunteer Needs

There are hundreds of agencies and organizations in the Upstate that are looking for volunteers. We have compiled a list of volunteer agencies (University login required) with dozens of groups that welcome student volunteers, but this list is not all-inclusive. It is a starting place as you explore the type of service that you are interested in.  You may also check the United Way of the Piedemont volunteer needs page.


IMPACT is a student-led service organization that connects students with the Upstate community through bi-monthly service projects that address local issues. IMPACT offers its members the opportunity to participate in direct service, explore diverse societal needs, and develop leadership skills. 

IMPACT has served at a variety of agencies in Spartanburg and the surrounding community.  Past projects have included assembling hygiene bags for the homeless, creating sock puppets to go with children’s books that were donated to an after-school program, conducting a lake sweep at Lake Bowen, assisting at the Salvation Army Thrift store, and playing games with residents of a nursing home.  If you are interested in learning more about or getting involved in IMPACT, send an email to

Alternative Breaks

The Alternative Break (AB) program provides USC Upstate students with an opportunity to participate in volunteer and educational trips to culturally diverse and economically disadvantaged communities throughout the United States. Alternative Break groups travel to locations all across the United States. They provide service-learning opportunities working with important issues such as the environment, education, immigration, poverty and other unmet human needs. The AB program exposes students to communities and immersion experiences that cannot be replicated on the USC Upstate campus.


We currently offer Alternative Fall Break (AFB) and Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trips. Trips are open to all USC Upstate students and are student-led! For more information about the AB program and how to get involved, contact the Alternative Break Board at