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Posts tagged: Dillon

A Promise Kept in Dillon, South Carolina

More than 800 students, teachers, elected officials and community leaders were present at the new Dillon Middle School dedication on Thursday morning, September 6th. Several years ago, a letter was written to Congress pleading for help to replace the 100 year old dilapidated school by then-eight grader, Ty’Sheoma Bethea.

Doug McKalip, Senior Policy Advisor for Rural Affairs with the White House Domestic Policy Council stated, “I think Ms. Bethea’s letter shows that an individual can have an impact, that the Obama Administration is listening, that we monitor closely the items that folks send by letter, email, and telephone. And that there often is action from the input.”

“This state of the art school is dedicated to the academic advancement of our children. I am pleased that the promise to the children of Dillon County has been kept,” said Vernita Dore, USDA Rural Development state director. Ms. Dore was instrumental in helping to fund construction of Dillon County Middle School, which replaces the old and dilapidated JV Martin Junior High, which was mentioned in President Obama’s first State of the Union address. Read more »

My Experience as an Intern with the SC NRCS Dillon Office

Overwhelmed doesn’t even begin to describe the way I felt on the first day of my internship with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. There was so much to learn—program acronyms, database information, how to do a field check…But I was told by my co-workers that I would learn fast.

And two and a half months and one bottle of Tylenol later, I realized that they were right. I was catching on. Slowly. Read more »

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Visits South Carolina Farms

Left to right-- USDA Rural Development State Director Vernita Dore, USDA Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Laurie Lawson, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack,  Congressman John Spratt and Bennettsville farmer, Frank Rogers, III., Monday at the McColl Gin Company in Bennettsville, SC.

Left to right-- USDA Rural Development State Director Vernita Dore, USDA Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Laurie Lawson, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Congressman John Spratt and Bennettsville farmer, Frank Rogers, III., Monday at the McColl Gin Company in Bennettsville, SC.

On Monday, Secretary Tom Vilsack and Congressman John Spratt visited several PeeDee area farms in South Carolina, and spoke with local leaders and farmers about the importance of developing a strong rural economy.  USDA State Directors, Vernita F. Dore, State Director for Rural Development, Ann English, State Conservationist for NRCS and Laurie Lawson, State Executive Director for FSA, also joined the tour of local farms. Read more »

New School Building in Dillon, South Carolina on the Drawing Board Thanks to a 15 year old Student’s Letter to President Obama

When 15 year Ty’Sheoma Bethea, formerly a student in Dillon, South Carolina, wrote to President Obama about the condition of her school, It set off a chain of events that led, last Friday, to a celebration in Dillon marking the unveiling of plans for a new J.V. Martin Junior High School.  A combination of loans and grants from USDA Rural Development will enable the district to replace the old school.

It was my privilege to accompany Vernita F. Dore, Rural Development State Director for South Carolina to the celebration. In her remarks she said, “This is a wonderful day in Dillon, South Carolina. This is a wonderful day all across America.” Looking directly at Ty’Sheoma Bethea, the student who wrote to President Obama concerning the conditions at her school, Dore said, “When you wrote your letter to the President, you were fired up. When the President read your letter, he was fired up, and Rural Development, Dillon County, Darryl Rosser, and people all across America were fired up about education in Dillon, South Carolina, and that’s why we are here today. We’re all fired up!” The crowd erupted in applause.

Dore went on to say, “The Recovery Act signed by President Obama more than a year ago made this funding possible and demonstrates the Obama Administration’s goal to create jobs and improve education for rural America. Because of the stimulus money, Rural Development was able to provide $39.5 million for Dillon County Schools.”
Among those on hand were Mr. Rosser, CEO of the Chicago-based classroom furniture supplier that provided the furniture to give the school a makeover last year, and Dillon County School Board Chairman Richard Schafer.

Former Dillon School student Ty'Sheoma Bethea, (L) who wrote a letter about the condition of her school to  President Obama, stands with Rural Development South Carolina State Director Vernita Dore next to a drawing of a new school building funded with Recovery Act loan and grant funds provided through USDA.

Former Dillon School student Ty'Sheoma Bethea, (L) who wrote a letter about the condition of her school to President Obama, stands with Rural Development South Carolina State Director Vernita Dore next to a drawing of a new school building funded with Recovery Act loan and grant funds provided through USDA.

Darryl Rosser, CEO of the Chicago furniture company that supplied new furniture for the J.V. Martin Junior High School, Dillon County school board chairman Richard Schafer and Ty'Sheoma Bethea unveil plans for the new school funded by USDA Rural Development.

Left to right: Darryl Rosser, CEO of the Chicago furniture company that supplied new furniture for the J.V. Martin Junior High School, Dillon County school board chairman Richard Schafer and Ty'Sheoma Bethea unveil plans for the new school funded by USDA Rural Development.

Written by Marlous H. Black

USDA Rural Development-South Carolina