February 2019 – Focus on the Palmetto State
In our first segment we spoke with Tracey Jackson, Executive Director of Piedmont Care, an organization dedicated to helping HIV and AIDS patients in the upstate. The organization provides medical care, HIV testing, counseling services, condom distribution and prevention services to people who may be at risk for HIV infections. Tracey informed us that Piedmont Care goes out into the community to speak with civic groups, churches, small businesses and other clubs to relay insight and education. South Carolina is ranked eighth in the nation in AIDS case rates for reasons including low education attainment, poverty, lack of health insurance and lack of access to specialty care.
Segment two of the show focused on Junior Achievement, a worldwide program committed to giving economic educations to students, ranging from kindergarten to twelfth grade in public schools. They focus on financial literacy, entrepreneurship, communications, critical thinking, decision-making, creativity and workforce readiness skills. We spoke with the organization’s president, Connie Lanzl, and the Director of Education and Volunteers, Susan Spencer, who shared with us that the program will turn 100 years old in 2019. The program, which is operated primarily by volunteers, is always seeking new corporate and community volunteers. The materials, curriculum and training are provided to everyone who wishes to participate.
The final segment of the show revolved around the Palmetto Trail, a 500 mile stretch of hiking and biking trail that started its development back in 1994 and will eventually go across the state of South Carolina, from the upstate to the beach. It is a project of Palmetto Conservation Foundation and we spoke with Natalie Britt, the Executive Director of the organization. Natalie shared with us that the organization sought to connect as many of the state’s public lands as they could, including forests and parks, to showcase South Carolina’s culture, history and recreational amenities. The organization will be celebrating its 30-year milestone and will be hosting a women’s outdoor recreation conference at Table Rock State Park between November 14 and November 17. Volunteers are regarded as the lifeblood of the organization, so anyone seeking to get involved can do so by visiting their website palmettoconservation.org.