The Greenhouse Communication Initiative, Inc. began as the Greenhouse Poetry, Inc. in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 2005. In those days, our main programs were focused on developing a permanent stage for performance poetry by; supporting touring artists, sponsoring the Greenhouse Slam Poetry Team, facilitating the Greenhouse Youth Poetry League, leading professional development sessions focused on cultural competency for administrators, teachers, and classified staff, facilitating assemblies and after school programming, and providing services for incarcerated youth in the Warren Regional Juvenile Detention Center. We coached high school and college forensics (Speech & Debate) competitors in multiple states, led scholarship fundraisers for our incarcerated students, sponsored youth global citizenship internships, presented at numerous regional and national education and juvenile justice conferences, and partnered with schools, business, and other nonprofit organizations to overcome entrenched obstacles, and more.
From 2005-2013 we operated simultaneously in Bowling Green, KY, Nashville, Tennessee, and Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2008 we rebranded the organization into, The Greenhouse Communication Initiative or the GCI, Inc. because of our programs that extended far beyond performance poetry, to leadership, multiple forms of communication, professional development, community action, and diversion programming.
In 2015 we officially relocated our main location to St. Louis, Missouri and began to rebuild the organization as a 501c3 Tax Exempt Organization that would rely less on program fees and become eligible for grants and donations. Since relocating to Missouri, we have collaborated with the Webster University Speech & Debate team in reciprocal learning activities, worked in the St. Louis County and City Juvenile Detention Centers with incarcerated youth who participated in literacy, leadership, and entrepreneurial activities anchored by forensics, coached the Illinois College, Wiley College, and Collegiate School of Medicine and Biosciences Speech & Debate teams, facilitated day forensics programming at Columbia & Sigel Elementary Schools in the St. Louis Public Schools District, supported several minority entrepreneurs in the start up stage of their businesses, facilitated summer Forensics Institutes at Confluence Prep Academy and the Clay Resource Center, and more.
We are now located in the Cortex Innovation Community, providing programming to St. Louis city and county. Our staff continues to develop entrepreneurs and citizens through literacy and leadership. I invite you to enjoy this narrative and join us in changing lives one word at a time.
Stacy D. Bernaugh MBA