Hembree to be honored at WIPL’s Celebration of Inspiring Women
The annual celebration and awards were created as an important and lasting way to recognize women who have had a substantive and positive impact in South Carolina and beyond. Since the program’s inception in 2011, 37 women have been recognized. The 2018 honorees also include Amber Campbell, a 2004 CCU graduate and three-time Olympian; Marilyn Fore, president of Horry-Georgetown Technical College; and Joan Robinson-Berry, vice president and general manager of Boeing South Carolina.
Hembree grew up in Columbia, S.C., and earned a secondary education degree from the University of South Carolina. She taught at Irmo High School before leaving the teaching profession to raise her three children. As a young mother in Columbia, Hembree began helping with the John Fling ministries, a charity that served the needs of the homeless, the blind and many others in the Midlands for decades. According to Hembree, little did she know that on those many trips in Fling’s truck, God was preparing her to start her own ministry.
In 1995, her husband’s work brought the Hembree family to Horry County. She quickly became involved in volunteer work with the North Myrtle Beach area schools. Through the years, she has served in numerous volunteer positions with the schools.
In 2008, while chairing the North Myrtle Beach advisory board, Hembree first learned of the homeless students who were attending the high school. That’s when she decided to establish Teen Angels, a nonprofit dedicated to providing a happy and fulfilling high school experience for homeless and disadvantaged students in the North Myrtle Beach attendance area. Teen Angels does not accept government money and only uses local contributions to help hundreds of teens in northern Horry County stay in school and succeed. In 2016, the organization was named one of the state’s top 10 charities by the South Carolina Secretary of State.
Along with her passion to help teenagers, Hembree serves on the South Carolina State Board of Education. She is a member of both the Rotary Club of Little River and the Ocean Drive Presbyterian Church. Hembree enjoys spending time with her husband, Greg, and her family, especially her grandchildren Henry and John Warner Battle.
The Women’s Leadership Conference and Celebration of Inspiring Women brings together women from all walks of life for two days of education, professional and personal development, and networking. Entrepreneurs, professionals, community volunteers and activists, students, moms, and women in transition all enjoy this dynamic program with incredible opportunities to learn and grow.
WIPL was founded in 2007 under the leadership of CCU first lady Terri DeCenzo. It is committed to inspiring, connecting and empowering women to strengthen their individual and collective voices in leadership at CCU and in the community, state, region and beyond. Members include faculty, staff and community leaders who are committed to creating and supporting opportunities for women in all areas of leadership and across all disciplines, while continuing to invest in scholarships for CCU students. Since its inception, WIPL has awarded 184 students more than $200,000 in financial support through a fully endowed scholarship and annual awards.