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.