Success Stories

Commitment leads to new beginning

Vernelle Gettie is not afraid of hard work. At the age of 8, she began spending the daylight hours after school in the fields of Saluda County picking cotton and peaches alongside her grandmother.

At 18, when most teens are looking for their first job, Vernelle, with ten years of work experience, became a mother. She dropped out of her rural high school to take a job as a housekeeper in an Aiken hotel, which required her to make a daily sixty-mile commute. She kept that routine for five years, until she decided to move to Detroit to live with family. The Motor City offered many opportunities, and Vernelle found employment in the food service and environmental service industries. However, she discovered that the work she most enjoyed was at a facility that served residents with disabilities.

Earning a CDL leads to life-changing opportunity

Lucinda Blend, a driver for Clemson Area Transit (CATbus), was following her usual route through Clemson University campus on January 19, 2018 when she began to smell an electrical aroma in the bus. As she reached for the radio to advise headquarters, a passenger in the back of the bus yelled “Fire!”

Broadcasting success in Seneca

Maricus Lewis’s success story begins in 2012 when he was referred to VR’s Seneca office for services by the School District of Oconee County. His dream was to become a radio broadcaster and producer.

After graduating from Seneca High School, Maricus  attended Tri-County Technical College to pursue a degree in radio communications. At Tri-County Technical College Maricus studied hard and joined the school radio station. However, he did not have transportation of his own and had to rely on friends, family, and public transportation to get to and from school.

Hard work leads to success as welding instructor

When Eric Scriven was referred to the Walterboro VR Office by Colleton County Probation and Parole Services, he was at a turning point. He was in jail due to probation revocation and a court requirement to attend inpatient treatment for substance abuse. With a long criminal history and an even longer history of drug use, Sciven knew he needed help to overcome his additions and achieve his desire to obtain competitive employment.

Business networking and VR teamwork lead to success

Brian Denny didn’t think he could go back to work after he sustained a high level spinal cord injury (C3-C4).

Unable to move his upper or lower body, Brian uses a power wheelchair that he manipulates by blowing into a straw-like device called a sip and puff. It takes patience and determination, something that Brian has in great supply.