CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Each year we take the opportunity during the month of March to profile some of the most remarkable women in the Lowcountry. We asked for your submissions, and now we are profiling the four finalists of the campaign. 

Carolyn Rivers is one of our 2023 Remarkable Women finalists. 

Carolyn Rivers is the founder and director of The Sophia Institute, a center for learning that brings together people from all 50 states and 16 different countries, which is now celebrating 21 years of calling the Lowcountry home. Their mission, Rivers describes, as helping people uncover the wisdom inside their hearts: 

“We are really cultivating in women a depth world of their capacities, gifts, talents, as women yearn to know themselves on a deeper level.” 

Rivers is a teacher, visionary, and mentor who finds purpose in helping other women and men on what she calls their journey to “wholeness.” She meets her mission through education, racial and gender equity, meditation and classes at The Sophia Institute.

Rivers founded The Sophia Institute in 2001 after leaving her job in corporate America to fulfill what she calls a yearning to know her true self: 

“I began to cultivate those gifts, capacities, and talents that I did not even know I had inside of me, and by honoring those that were uniquely mine to be, the change started happening.” 

That change Rivers describes as the ability to shift someone’s mindset and heart-set so they can become agents of positive change: 

“To evolve a consciousness, that can bring about the need to change, what’s good for all people and what is good for the planet, a more egalitarian world rather than a patriarchal world.”

Rivers puts that into action, by bringing together diverse groups: 

“You can feel it…on a heart level…you can see it in the face of the other person, are people, holding space for you…it is empowering, it’s validating, and you never forget it. And you learn to do it more and more.”

Rivers says she won’t be slowing down her work anytime soon, as she loves helping others also become “Remarkable Women:” 

“We see people come in with tension and strain and we see them depart joyfully, and with a sense of empowerment, I just keep going back to that where when I say empowerment, I mean in an innate way, you know honing gifts within their true nature.”

This April, The Sophia Institute will be running a special program on conscious aging, focused on sharing intergenerational wisdom. If you are interested in getting involved or learning more about The Sophia Institute, click here.