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NETA’s Laura Hayes Graduates From Diversity Leaders Initiative

NETA’s Laura Hayes has graduated from the Diversity Leaders Initiative’s (DLI) 35th Upstate class. DLI is hosted by the Riley Institute at Furman University and has been promoting the power of diversity for over 20 years to help teams, organizations, and communities in South Carolina thrive. 

This five-month curriculum explored a wide array of topics from bias and discrimination to the role of context, and it openly engaged with sensitive issues related to diversity and inclusion. It concluded with a community action project aimed at identifying and addressing a concern in the Upstate and implementing an enduring solution. 

Hayes’ group capstone launched CommunITy with the goal to provide individuals in underserved communities with information about technology-related career opportunities. The group hosted the inaugural CommunITy Fair on May 4, 2024, in Greenville, SC, where technology businesses and local training programs engaged with attendees, showcasing virtual reality, drones, STEM activities, and cybersecurity technologies. Watch a short video of the group’s efforts at

“As a graduate, I’m honored to join the ranks of Riley Fellows who have proven themselves to be changemakers in their communities,” said Hayes. “I’m proud of the work we started and excited to see future DLI scholars continue to grow the initiative in other communities.”

“Laura put tremendous work and thought into this achievement,” said Eric Hyyppa, NETA president. “I am eager to see all that she brings to NETA from this important experience.”

Hayes’ graduation marks her joining of a community of over 2,800 fellows statewide, including two other NETA team members. To learn more about DLI or meet all of the fellows, visit

Please join NETA in congratulating Laura on this accomplishment.  

Laura Hayes