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LCDSNB serving more as it gains assistance

IN APPRECIATION – Last week at the Laurens County Disability and Special Needs Board Annual Breakfast, Jason Tavenner presents the Von Sinclair Award for Advocacy and Service to Jonathan Dunagin for Spectrum’s assistance in the employment development program at the Cypress Center in Clinton. Photo by Judith Brown 

Laurens, South Carolina – Laurens County Disability and Special Needs Board held its annual breakfast meeting in The Palmetto Room last week, thanking community stakeholders for the work they’re doing for those with disabilities in the county.
Executive Director Jason Tavenner said he appreciates those partners who already work with the public, non-profit agency’s employment programs and encouraged others to do the same.
“What do you get out of your work?” Tavenner asked, and agreed with participants’ answers of stability, meaning and community.
He added others, however, that are key benefits for people with disabilities who can find meaningful employment, including a renewed spirit, a second chance and pride.
“Just a few years ago we had five or six employed and now we have 33 employed with various partners so we really are continuing to grow in this area,” Tavenner said, encouraging any business or agency present to consider getting involved.
A career lab set up last year with a $50,000 grant from Spectrum allows students at the Cypress Center in Clinton to help prepare for different types of employment.
The financial assistance is a primary reason Spectrum was selected on Tuesday to be the winner of the Von Sinclair Award for Advocacy and Service. The award was accepted on behalf of Spectrum by Jonathan Dunagin, the Manager of Communications for the Southern Region.
“These funds are part of the Spectrum Community Center Assist program,” Dunagin said. “In addition to funding, volunteers from Spectrum came down and spent a day assembling desks and equipment to support and develop personalized vocational training plans at the center. This included a donation of 25 new laptops and charging cart, a smart board and specialized adaptive work areas that help promote independence.”
That assistance occurred in December 2022, and now with another $50,000 Spectrum grant LCDSNB has been able to bring in a staff person to oversee the program, Tavenner said.
Tavenner said the Laurens County staff are reaching beyond the county borders to assist in other areas as well, increasing assistance through case management in Greenwood County and providing early intervention programs in Greenville and Greenwood counties through its Building Dreams programs, serving children from birth through 6 years of age.
The agency welcomes volunteers at events such as its upcoming art show Spring Forever Green on April 12 in Clinton, and its prom on May 14.
Anyone seeking information on services or ways to assist can email Tara Glenn at tglenn@lcdsnb.org.

This story originally ran Page 3 of the Wednesday, March 20 issue of The Laurens County Advertiser.

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