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Harrington named executive director of StepUp!

August 11, 2005

A native of Myrtle Beach and an experienced social worker, Valerie Harrington is the executive director of the newly developed StepUp! program in Horry County. Coastal Carolina University recently received a $750,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to fund StepUp!, a community engagement program that will organize, train and place volunteers with area nonprofit organizations throughout the Grand Strand community.

Since childhood, Harrington has made it her lifelong mission to give back to the communities where she has lived "to give a hand up to those that need assistance, not a hand out." Hoping to instill her passion for social work in others, she teaches social work classes at Horry-Georgetown Technical College. Most recently, she served as the executive director for CARETEAM Inc. in Myrtle Beach.

Harrington's previous work experience includes serving as an independent counselor in the field of sexual assault, teen pregnancy prevention and child abuse. She earned a master's degree in social work from the University of South Carolina.

A graduate of Leadership Grand Strand (LGS), Harrington has served on the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce's Board of Regents for LGS. She is a member of the Grand Strand Optimist Club and has served at the local and state levels of numerous community organizations including SharedCare, Waccamaw Regional Prevention Collaboration, Department of Health and Environmental Control's (DHEC's) STD/HIV Division and State of South Carolina Consumer Advisory Work Group.

StepUp! is headquartered in Coastal Carolina University's Coastal Federal Center for Economic and Community Development in the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration.