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Native named to serve as USC peer leader

Walterboro native Dahlia Inabinett will serve as a peer ambassador for the University of South Carolina.

Inabinett was chosen to serve as a University 101 Peer Leader for USC during the upcoming 2018 fall semester. According to Jeff Stensland, spokesman for the University of South Carolina peer mentoring program, the peer leader role is “one of the most significant” and one of the “most coveted” leadership opportunities that a student can have on campus. “Being selected for this role signifies that Dahlia is among the top of the class academically at Carolina, and exhibits significant leadership and/or involvement on campus and in the community,” said Stensland.

Peer leaders will serve as mentors, resources and facilitators for learning for first-year students as they transition to and through the university.

These peer leaders will have “frequent contact” with faculty mentors, and they will support the personal development of first-year students.

Inabinett is one of 175 peer mentors. Each of these student leaders were chosen from approximately 350 students who applied for the position.

According to Stensland, the University 101 Program at the University of South Carolina is a national model for first-year seminars. Since 1972, the UNIV101 course has helped almost 100,000 students transition into and through college. As the institution’s largest course, UNIV101 has positively impacted students’ persistence to degree and personal success.

“As a University 101 Peer Leader, Dahlia will work alongside a University 101 instructor to plan and facilitate lessons and assist with classroom management, while developing communication, teamwork, and other important leadership skills,” he said.

Colletonians to get housing help

Some Colleton County residents whose houses were damaged in the 2015 storms have now been notified that will receive either new or upgraded housing.

The new housing is part of a grant effort organized by the South Carolina Department of Revenue.

Those families in Colleton County who have received new housing are among 974 families statewide whose houses were either upgraded or replaced as part of the South Carolina Disaster Recovery Office (SCDRO). The 974 families chosen were selected from about 1,139 people statewide who asked for housing assistance, as a result of the storms.

“Award letters notify citizens that they have been accepted into the program and list the next steps for the citizen to move forward. It is up to the citizen to decide if he or she will participate in the program,” said Beth Parks, spokeswoman for the revenue department, which is overseeing the disaster recovery grant efforts.

Because of federal and state privacy acts, the identities of those Colleton County citizens who are receiving help through this program are being withheld.

“SCDRO protects the personal information of citizens and will release only the county and zip code for households served by the program,” said Parks.

In addition to Colleton County, residents in multiple other counties across South Carolina will also be provided with new or improved housing. These counties include Berkeley, Charleston, Clarendon, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Marion, Sumter and Williamsburg Counties.

Parks says that the SCDRO will “repair or replace” about 2,150 houses that were impacted by the 2015 storms. Those receiving this help fall into the “Low or moderate” income category. This is “South Carolina’s most vulnerable population,” she said.

“The highest priority is given to households with documented damage, households with persons who are 65 years old or older, persons with documented disabilities, or households with children five years old or younger,” she said.

Accreditation team to visit Colleton schools

The Colleton County School District is welcoming members of the AdvancED Engagement Review Team to Colleton County. This team will be in the local school district for a three-day visit, which will last from April 16-18. This team represents the South Association of Schools and Colleges – Council on Accreditation and School Improvement. This is a third-party group that monitors and reviews standards in the education system that need to be met, according to a press release issued by the Colleton County School District. This team’s review is part of the Colleton school district receiving its renewal to a five-year accreditation.

“We are excited about our upcoming visit,” said Dr. Franklin L. Foster, superintendent of the local district. “Our administrators, teachers, and staff are eager to share with the Engagement Team our story of being committed to Preparing Every Child Today for Tomorrow,” he said, in a written statement.

During this three-day visit, the Engagement Review Team will visit schools and review volumes of district data and artifacts.

The team will also participate in conversations with students, parents, employees, community members and members of the school board, according to Foster.

“We are confident that the Engagement Review Team will see in many aspects of our work, the commitment of TEAM Colleton and our community to our future leaders,” he said.

Heather Walters (1469 Posts)