If you’ve ever been on the College of Charleston campus during the summer, you’ll notice there’s less going on with the students off at internships and study abroad, but you may also spot a group of grade schoolers crossing across campus, taking advantage of our facilities and visiting the dinosaurs at the Mace Brown Natural History Museum – these are the kids of Kids on Point (KOP). Founded in 2009, KOP is a Charleston-based nonprofit offering after-school, summer, and weekend programming for students, starting in elementary school.

“Our mission is to embolden the potential of students through access, exposure and opportunities,” says KOP executive director Lauren Herterich. “We start with kids in the third and fourth grade. We follow them through elementary, middle and high school, and post-secondary education. We have a long-term commitment to the students and families that we’re working with.”

For her work with KOP, the Black History Intercollegiate Consortium (BHIC) will honor Herterich with a 2024 MLK Humanitarian Award.

Every year at the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, the BHIC – comprised of the College of Charleston, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), The Citadel, Trident Technical College and Charleston Southern University – honors someone from each institution who embodies the ideals of Martin Luther King Jr.

“Lauren is mission-driven and unapologetic in her pursuit to provide community service,” says Rénard Harris, ​​School of Business faculty and former chief diversity officer. “She navigates this pursuit with professionalism and determination. She and her team make community impact by putting students first. As a KOP Board Member, I have had the opportunity to have an in-depth conversation with the parents of the beautiful children in Kids On Point, and they are excited, engaged, and applaud the way in which Lauren and her team facilitate their children’s development and experiences. I nominated Lauren Herterich for the College of Charleston’s 2024 Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award because she creates a runway of endless possibilities.”

Herterich says that the favorite part of her job is seeing the KOP students come full circle. “​​It is amazing to watch them become young adults and find their path,” she says.

The 2024 BHIC event will take place from 6:30–8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024, at the Trident Technical College – Thornley (main) Campus. Freshman Legacy Scholar William Jenkins will share student reflections on the program’s theme, “It Starts With Me: Shifting the Cultural Climate Through the Study and Practice of Kingian Nonviolence.” The CofC Gospel Choir, now under the direction of Carlos Brown, will perform during the program as well.

“I’m really humbled and grateful to be a recipient of the award,” says Herterich, “As a white woman receiving this award, I am acutely aware of the responsibility that comes with it. Dr. King’s legacy is a guiding light, his tireless pursuit of justice, unwavering commitment to equality, and belief in the transformative power of love continue to inspire and challenge me.”