Building relationships to help parents and children break down walls, Joyce Maybin Nesmith is doing just that.  She retired from a career in sales years ago, but works hard every day to help children in need of additional support.  She’s our Everyday Hero.

After years of volunteering on school campuses, in 2004 Joyce Maybin Nesmith founded BOWs. Beyond Our Walls is a non-profit organization that sits in the heart of a neighborhood in need, and provides love and support to children and families in North Charleston.  Nesmith says,”This particular area is ground zero, when it comes down to things we need to do to try to help support families who are still trying to mobilize themselves to be more successful.”  

She also works to increase the involvement of parents and members of the community in local schools. It’s a mission born from tragedy.  Nesmith says, “2003, I lost my son. My son passed away. I decided after going through the grieving process, I started looking at some of the things that may be could have been a positive impact on his life.  I felt him to be a grown man who felt like he was hopeless because he didn’t have a really good education, and I figured what can I do as a mother to help support other families like myself.  I came here as a divorcee with two children and no family members, and I decided it would be nice to be a role model for some of the parents, mothers especially who are struggling with children. I decided to see what I could do.”

BOWs offers a safe, nurturing place for children, and offers help with academics, behavior and social skills.  The BOWs summer session runs six weeks.  Savion Pryor says, “It keeps kids safe, and off the streets. She’s known a lot of these kids since they were hand babies. She’s a hero to everyone.  Her personality is exciting. She just makes you want to come help out with the kids.”
Volunteers and teachers help with literacy, computer skills and self-esteem building.  BOWS provides free help with homework, meals, tutoring, fun field trips and activities for children. During the school year, BOWs is also open after school, and any time school is out.  Nesmith says,  “My prayer is that we all as a community come together, and people start giving back their time. I feel like a call to action means action.  It means not just talk about it, but get involved in children’s lives.”

BOWs also opened another facility to provide free dance, music, boxing lessons, as well as art, and yoga classes starting this fall.  BOWs is funded by donations and volunteers are always needed.  Nesmith says, “I’m fortunate enough to be able to help out in the community, and I want to do what I can, and I have the time. I’m retired.  I can’t think of anything else I would rather use my time doing then to spend it with these children, and seeing the families moving forward and doing what I can, and try to encourage others to do the same.  Come join me.”

For more information on BOWS and how you can help, click here: