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Darlington County Teen Pregnancy Prevention Advocate Honored during SC Campaign’s Annual Conference

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Columbia, SC:  Darnell McPherson—Executive Director of Darlington County First Steps—was  honored as the 2015 recipient of the Murray L. Vincent Outstanding Prevention Professional Award during the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy’s (SC Campaign) Summer Institute on June 11. Given in memory of Dr. Murray Vincent, the prestigious award recognizes an individual who has significantly impacted the prevention of adolescent pregnancy in South Carolina while exemplifying the characteristics of the award’s namesake.

During her tenure, Darnell has expanded both the scope of services and number of families served by Darlington County First Steps. This work now includes the implementation of teen pregnancy prevention evidence-based programs and comprehensive support for expectant and parenting teen mothers and fathers in Darlington County. A community volunteer, child advocate, and social worker, she has been employed in the non-profit sector for over 30 years.

Darnell is widely respected across the community as a distinguished leader and visionary. She works tirelessly to build awareness of the realities of life and conditions faced by families and their children living in poverty in Darlington County. In the words of her colleagues, “She has a true passion for the prevention of teen pregnancy and is a true role model for others.”

"Darnell is a champion in her community who works tirelessly for those who are in need," said Forrest Alton, Chief Executive Officer of the SC Campaign. "It was a privilege to honor her for all she has done in the field of teen pregnancy prevention - particularly her work with pregnant and parenting teens."

About Murray L. Vincent

Among his accomplishments, Dr. Vincent is credited with creating the first undergraduate health education degree in South Carolina as well as all of the health education master's and doctoral degrees at the University of South Carolina. He was a founder of the South Carolina Association for Health Education in 1972, serving as its president in 1981. Dr. Vincent was an American Association of Health Education Scholar and was inducted into the Health Education Hall of Fame in 2002. The success of his work in teen pregnancy prevention has been widely published. His signature effort was started in Bamberg County in 1982 and 26 years later has resulted in one the most successful school-community teen pregnancy prevention programs ever created. In the early 1990s, Dr. Vincent worked to help create the SC Council on Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention, now known as the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.