Joan Johnakin of Marlboro County Receives the Murray L. Vincent Outstanding Prevention Professional Award
Friday, June 30, 2017
June 30, 2017 – Joan Johnakin was awarded the Murray L. Vincent Outstanding Prevention Professional Award at the 18th annual Summer Institute Conference hosted by the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (SC Campaign). Johnakin is the Founding Director of Coalition for Family Enrichment and former Board Member of the SC Campaign. She is an ardent advocate for children and families where her influences and outstanding work spans from her local community in Marlboro County and throughout the state of South Carolina. Johnakin continues to be a trailblazer in the field of social work; especially in the area of teen pregnancy prevention. Her outstanding career expands over fifty years as an educator and as an employee of the Department of Social Services as a social worker, regional trainer, and county director. She was the first person of color to hold a social worker’s position, as well as, the county director’s position at the Marlboro County Department of Social Services. She also was one of the first persons of color to serve as a trainer in the SC Department of Social Services.
Joan has given her life in service—locally, regionally, and nationally. She provided leadership in acquiring over $1 million in grants and other funding for special projects. Over her years of service, Joan initiated a number of high quality model programs. As the director of the Marlboro County Child Protective Services division, she enacted and supervised the first Teen Companion Program. This curriculum structured teen prevention program met weekly after school, serving at risk children from 10-18 years old in every area of Marlboro County. The program taught health education and provided field trips experiences. The program distinguished itself by including a strong parental component, in which the youth workers established a partnership with parents. Joan contributes the healthy partnership with parents as one of the key components of its success.
Like Dr. Murray L. Vincent, Joan has a true passion for the prevention of teen pregnancy and is a role model for others. She is an awe-inspiring, dedicated, community leader in Marlboro County. No one would ever consider she is retired because she works well over 40 hours a week developing, coordinating, and providing leadership for programs and organizations in Marlboro County. A program very dear to Joan’s heart in which she provides leadership, guidance, financial and moral support is the Tea Time with Teens Program. Joan mentors the directors of the program to ensure the highest quality program is implemented. She is now committed to helping develop a robust parenting component to complement the Tea Time with Teens program.
“We host Summer Institute each year as an opportunity for our partners and other dedicated youth advocates to learn from, engage with and be inspired by one another. We could not reach communities around the state without dedicated leaders and advocates like Joan,” said Beth De Santis, CEO of the SC Campaign.