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About Us

Serving Upstate South Carolina for more than a century

Phillis Wheatley Community Center is a hub of programming and services for members of the community at all stages of life from youth through retirement. 

The Center has a unique history that spans more than a century  in Greenville, South Carolina. Many residents and community leaders have been a part of our story over the years.  

Through the dedication and efforts of all those involved with the Center, the alumni have gone on to lead fulfilling and successful lives. 

Our History

Phillis Wheatley Community Center Serving Greenville SC History 1919 The Phillis Wheatley Association is born


The Phillis Wheatley Association is born

In 1919, Hattie Logan Duckett founded The Phillis Wheatley Association on Haynie Street as a social and academic center for young Black women. The association was named for Phillis Wheatley, a slave who, in the 1770s, became the first Black poet to have her works published.

Shortly after founding the association, Duckett bought a small house for the association on East McBee Avenue, where she gathered girls for Bible classes and play groups. She later expanded programs to include boys.

Phillis Wheatley Community Center Serving Greenville SC History 1924 The Phillis Wheatley Association becomes The Phillis Wheatley Center

The Phillis Wheatley Association becomes The Phillis Wheatley Center

The mortgage and operating costs on East McBee were too much, though, and Duckett turned to Thomas Parker, a business leader. With a diverse board, they raised $65,000 from the still-segregated community — $45,000 from white individuals and $20,000 from Black individuals — and created the Phillis Wheatley Center. The new Center at 121 Broad St. was in the historic Black business district and included a three-story brick building, playgrounds, tennis courts, furnishings, and fencing.

Mission, Vision and Values


To make self-sufficiency a reality for all residents of Greenville County and Upstate South Carolina.


The Phillis Wheatley Community Center will collaborate with community partners to provide the tools and resources to empower all individuals, with a special focus on those from under-served communities, to achieve upward mobility and self-sufficiency.

Pillars of Our Mission

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We assist each child and the community at large in moving beyond current limits to an environment free of barriers and full of opportunities for growth.

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We foster hope in individuals we serve so that they may have the vision and courage to see beyond their circumstances.
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We believe that every child and person in the communities we serve should have the opportunity to grow and gain the skills to become self-sufficient.
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Character Building

We teach our youth and those we serve to demonstrate personal accountability and exhibit excellence in their daily life.
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Civic Engagement

We teach and encourage the youth and individuals we serve to give back to their communities.




We hold ourselves to the highest standards, take ownership of our work, and promptly correct mistakes to the greatest extent possible.



We strive for the highest quality in the delivery of our programs and services by being innovative, delivering on commitments, and fostering continuous improvement.


We welcome and support differences among those we work with and serve.


We communicate openly, both internally and externally. We maintain principles of integrity as we swiftly acknowledge concerns and identify inconsistencies.

On-Campus Partners

Greenville County Parks and Recreation

Phillis Wheatley Community Center is home to a variety of programs in partnership with Greenville County Parks and Recreation. Learn more about Greenville County Parks and Rec

SHARE / Head Start

A school readiness program that provides comprehensive child development services to eligible families.

Greenville Technical College – Returning Citizens Program

The GTC Upstate Returning Citizens Programs provides case management activities to remove barriers for citizens who are transitioning from the criminal justice system to productive lives within the community.

Greenville Technical College – Quick Jobs

The Quick Jobs program offers training and certifications that are skills specific and job preparatory with most courses lasting three months or less.

Nicholtown Child and Family Collaborative (NCFC)

NCFC was established to provide services for the children and families of Nicholtown to improve child outcomes; provide parent training, education, and employment; and build lasting community infrastructure.

Innovation Counseling Services, LLC

Innovation counseling provides mental health counseling through individual, group, senior, adult and youth counseling sessions.

Goodwill Industries of the Upstate/Midlands, SC

Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina is a not-for-profit organization offering career services, job training, certifications and programs that help South Carolinians become independent through employment.