Reach Out and Read Carolinas, in partnership with Converse College, launched an innovative internship—our Social Systems Leadership Internship (SSLI), thanks to Mary Black Foundation and other community partners. Through the lens of Reach Out and Read, the Social Systems Leadership Internship (SSLI) is offering 4 young women from Converse College a deep dive into systems building in a community to better support children and families. The goal of the SSLI is for undergraduates to learn about the integrated systems of early childhood in Spartanburg County. This semesters interns are from a variety of disciplines (Healthcare and Business Administration, Biochemistry, etc.) – two are sophomores and two are in their Junior year at Converse. They will help support the ROR model in local clinics, and learn about the integrated systems-level collaboration between ROR and partner organizations in the larger/shared community and early childhood space. The internship kicked off with an orientation, in collaboration with partners at Openfields and Capita. The conversations were educational, passionate, and energizing. The interns were very engaged and full of dynamic conversation and questions. They will dive into this work and continued learning through an online course, and will begin with sites visits and getting to know our work in Spartanburg County next week. We are excited to share the learning this semester together, and to be able to engage future leaders in project-based work that interns will both experience and lead over the course of the semester. This work will benefit both the ROR programs and the larger systems that support children and families in the greater Spartanburg County. We are proud to work with partners to build educated and empowered young leaders as advocates for children, families, and the systems that support healthy development.