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Meet our 2019 scholarship recipients as they head into or back to college this month!

Scholarship funds at Waccamaw Community Foundation allow our donors to directly impact the lives of the young people in our region by supporting their educational goals, often putting them on a long-term path of success. Not only are we helping these bright students obtain higher education, our scholarship funds expand opportunities for generations to come.

John M. Draughn and Trena B. Draughn Scholarship

The John M. and Trena B. Draughn Scholarship Fund has awarded $45,000 to college-bound students of the Horry-Georgetown region over the past 16 years. Recently, we were able to celebrate the latest two recipients, North Myrtle Beach High School seniors Neal MacDonald and Forest Floyd.

The scholarship program was created for a senior at North Myrtle Beach High School that plans to attend either Coastal Carolina University or Horry-Georgetown Technical College in Conway to pursue a degree in a business-related field. While the scholarship is typically awarded to one student, Neal and Forest’s applications were so compelling, the Draughn’s decided to support them both.

Neal MacDonald is entering his freshman year at Horry-Georgetown Technical College, where he is majoring in Business Administration. Neal plans to transfer to Coastal Carolina University to pursue his bachelor’s degree and complete his Business Administration program. Neal is a proud Eagle Scout who has been involved in scouting since he was 7 years-old. Neal is also an excellent tennis player, serving as team captain of his school’s tennis team for the past two years. After earning his bachelor’s degree, Neal plans on opening a business of his own.

Forest Floyd is entering his freshman year at Horry-Georgetown Technical College, where he will be studying Business Management. After two years, he plans on finishing his college career at Coastal Carolina University. Floyd is an avid fisherman and loves to spend his time on the water. After earning his bachelor’s degree, Forest dreams of becoming a business owner.


Thomas W. Jones Memorial Scholarship


The Thomas W. Jones Scholarship focuses on graduating seniors or current students at the University of South Carolina’s Engineering school, with ties to Georgetown or Horry County. Congratulations to Alfred Stephenson and Beau Studley for earning this year’s award.

Alfred Stephenson is entering his sophomore year at the University of South Carolina, where he is majoring in Computer Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. Alfred is involved in the university’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Minorities in Computing (MIC), and Brothers of Nubian Descent (BOND). Alfred plays intramural basketball, sings in the choir and is a youth mentor at his church. After he receives his bachelor’s degree, Alfred plans to become Computer Systems Analyst.

Beau Studley is entering his sophomore year at the University of South Carolina, where he will continue studying Civil Engineering. Beau is a member of the Capstone Scholars Program at USC. He is also involved in several intramural sports, and the USC Study Abroad Program. Beau recently completed a service trip in Quito, Ecuador volunteering at the Center for Working Boys, an organization that enhances the lives of families through education, home building, vocational training and more. Throughout his next three years, Beau hopes to continue his focus on education and service.

Mildred E. Swatko Memorial Scholarship

The Mildred E. Swatko scholarship is awarded to a student enrolled in the Nursing or Golf Course programs at Horry-Georgetown Technical College.

Stacy Johnson is majoring in nursing at Horry-Georgetown Technical College. She is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and previously served 14 years in law enforcement in Georgia. She is a wife, mother, animal lover and enjoys spending her free time with her family at the beach or pool. Stacy plans on serving her community at an area hospital after earning her associates degree in nursing and becoming a registered nurse.

Michael Smith is in his third semester majoring in nursing at Horry-Georgetown Technical College. Michael is an active member of the Student Nurses Association and serves on the officer team as the Breakthrough to Nursing Coordinator at the Grand Strand Campus. After graduating with his Nursing degree, Michael plans to become a Trauma Certified Registered Nurse.

Lindsey Lopez is a second career student at Horry-Georgetown Technical College after being a stay-at-home mom. She is majoring in Nursing, associates degree in nursing – registered nurse, where she proudly maintains a 4.0 GPA. After graduating, she plans to continue her education with the hopes of becoming a Nurse Practitioner. Lindsey is driven to address health disparities among women of under-served populations.


Katharine Tricomi is in her final semester as a nursing student at Horry-Georgetown Technical College. She has lived in North Myrtle Beach for the past 20 years and has thoroughly enjoyed her experience.
Upon graduation, Katharine hopes to move to Charlotte, North Carolina to practice nursing in a medical-surgical unit.

Katherine Lall is currently a student at Horry-Georgetown Technical College obtaining an associate degree in Nursing. She is a member of the National Student Nurses Association and recently served as the Community Health Director. After becoming an RN as well as a Nurse Practitioner, Katherine plans to continue her education.

 

 

Sue’s Hope Scholarship

The Sue’s Hope scholarship is awarded to a North Myrtle Beach High School or North Myrtle Beach Christian Academy Senior. The scholarship is aimed at students who display a sense of hope despite obstacles in their life, not necessarily restricted to top performing academic students.

This year’s recipient, Christina Georgakopoulos, is entering her freshman year as a Health Science major at Horry-Georgetown Technical College. She is a member of the National Honors Society, National Math Honors Society, and is also in the Interact Club. Christina has consistently worked two jobs since the age of 13 and loves helping her community. Christina plans to earn a nursing degree and grow in the medical field.

 

3655 S. Hwy. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

843-357-GIVE (4483)

Info@mywcf.org

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Copyright © 2024 Waccamaw Community Foundation

Jean Ann Brakefield

Programs Officer

jeanann@mywcf.org
843-357-0168

Jean Ann provides support and day-to-day management for WCF’s competitive grantmaking and scholarship programs. She also serves as the external point-person for community programs focused on capacity building for agencies in Horry and Georgetown counties.

Brakefield comes to WCF from Coastal Carolina University where she acted as Director of Stewardship and, prior to that, Director of Alumni Relations. She also served as Vice President of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. Brakefield earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Coastal Carolina University. She lives in Murrells Inlet with husband with whom she has two children and one grandchild – and one on the way!

Gary Cooper

Vice Chair, Development Committee

Gary Cooper is the co-founder and Executive Chairman of Palmetto Infusion Services, LLC. Gary graduated from Wofford College with a BS in Economics and went on to acquire his Master’s Degree in Health Care Administration from the University of South Carolina. 
 
He has dedicated twenty-four years of service and leadership to the health care industry as an entrepreneur across a number of businesses. Gary’s commitment to the industry and servant leadership has ensured that the employees, patients, and communities served by his companies have benefitted from his stewardship.
 
Gary and his wife Kelly reside in Pawleys Island, SC and are the parents of four children – Gracyn, Clemons, Marshall, and Sutton.
 

Dr. Deshawn Rouse

Director

Dr. Deshawn Rouse is the Founder and CEO of Spirit Filled Ambassadors for Christ Ministries. He also serves as Senior Prelate of the United Ministries of the Kingdom. Additionally, Dr. Rouse is the Founder and CEO of Prison of Hope Ministry, a state and federal prison ministry. Also, he is the Founder and CEO of Zenith Wealth Building.
 
He received his Doctoral Degree in Biblical Studies in 2013 from North Carolina College of Theology in Wilmington, North Carolina.
 
Deshawn has served on various boards including the City of Andrews’ Planning Commission and its Zoning Board of Appeals. He is the Vice Chairman of Smurfs Development School and is a covenant partner with Helping Hands of Georgetown. Dr. Rouse has received the Order of The Silver Crescent from Governor Henry McMaster, an Icon Award from the Andrews SC Chapter of the NAACP, the Town of Andrews’ Citizens Award, and various other awards from federal, state, and local officials. Deshawn released a book Never Have a Bad Day and two children’s books Them Two: Morals Stops Quarrels and Kingdom Economic.
 
Dr. Rouse is married to Lady Debra Rouse and has four children Tarique, Kenly, Jordon, and Jeremiah. 
 

Emma Ruth Brittain

Director

Emma Ruth Brittain is a native of Darlington, and is retired from her most recent employment as a member of Thomas & Brittain, P.A. She is a graduate of Furman University and received her law degree from University of South Carolina School of Law. Emma Ruth began practicing law in September of 1980 and her areas of practice included Employment and Labor Law and she retired from the practice of law in 2019.
 
As a practicing attorney, she was a member of the South Carolina Bar Association, American Bar Association and Horry County Bar Association as well as the Myrtle Beach Women Lawyers Association. She has served on the Supreme Court of South Carolina Lawyer Mentoring Program and Coastal Inn of Court.  She currently serves on the boards of United Way of Horry County and the Long Bay Symphony.  Emma Ruth served as a past president of the Myrtle Beach Rotary Club. 
 
Emma Ruth and her husband, Clay, live in Myrtle Beach and have 2 grown children Clay IV and Benjamin.

Robert P. Hucks, II

Vice Chair

Robert P. Hucks, II is Executive Vice President and Chief Banking Officer at Coastal Carolina National Bank. Hucks has worked in the banking industry for 23 years and represents a second-generation banker in Horry County, where he currently resides in Conway with his wife Christi and two boys, Riles and Winn.

Wallace Evans Jr.

Director

Wallace Evans Jr., is a native of North Myrtle Beach, SC. He is married and has four children. He attended Clemson Univ. but graduated from Coastal Carolina Univ. with a B. A. in Interdisciplinary Studies. He is currently the CEO of A Father’s Place, the nonprofit father engagement initiative with three offices serving Georgetown, Horry, and Williamsburg counties.

Cheryl Cail

Director

Cheryl Cail is Acting Chief of the Waccamaw Indian People and Chairperson of SC Idle No More; a committee under the SC Indian Affairs Commission, which focuses on protection of the environment, cultural preservation, and indigenous sovereignty. She owns Coastal Carolina Signings, LLC, and also works part-time as an Associate Director at American Rivers. She is the mother of three sons and grandmother of seven.

Dennis L Wade

Dennis Wade is a native of Lancaster, SC and a graduate of the University of South Carolina. Mr. Wade has been President and Chief Executive Officer of The Jackson Companies since 2001. The Jackson Companies is a diversified tourism, hospitality and real estate development company located in the South Strand of Myrtle Beach. For more than five decades, the Jackson family has instilled philanthropy and community service into their multifaceted group of businesses. Dennis is a graduate of Leadership Grand Strand XIX and a Waccamaw American Leadership Forum Senior Fellow. He currently serves on the Coastal Educational Foundation Board of Directors, the Board of Visitors for the Wall College of Business at Coastal Carolina University, and the Conway Medical Center Board of Trustees. He is also chairman of the Board of Directors of Coastal Carolina Bancshares, Inc. and a director of Coastal Carolina National Bank. Dennis and his wife, Marie, have two children, Erica and Taylor, and have called the Grand Strand home since 1997.

Allen Jeffcoat

Allen Jeffcoat has been practicing law in Myrtle Beach since 1977. His areas of practice include real estate, estate planning, probate administration, environmental law, corporate and business law, and bankruptcy.  He serves as an expert witness in cases in these areas of practice. He is licensed to practice law in SC and NC. He has served as chair of the Real Estate Practices Section of the SC Bar.

Allen’s relationship with Waccamaw Community Foundation began many years ago, when he would advise his estate planning clients to invest their funds to benefit their philanthropic interests, such as education, the arts, and environmental protection. After working alongside his clients and WCF, Allen joined the Foundation’s board of directors in 2007 and served as director until 2016.

In addition to his professional to his professional interests and his involvement with WCF, Allen has a history of supporting coastal and statewide conservation efforts. In 1985, Allen joined the South Carolina Nature Conservancy board of trustees, and fulfilled a variety of leadership roles- including a stint a chairman— from 1987-1989. Allen also served on Governor Carroll Campbell’s Freshwater Wetlands Forum, and continues to apply his experience in environmental and real estate law to help preserve and protect natural resources and ecosystems vital to the local community.

Allen is also a founder and first president of the YMCA of Coastal Carolina.

Allen has resided in the Grand Strand since 1977 with his wife, Mary. They have two grown children and a granddaughter.

Tim Whitten

Tim@mywcf.org

843-357-4483

A native of Alabama, Tim received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Auburn University and a master’s degree in religion from Lenoir-Rhyne University. He brings to WCF a background in grant writing and in disaster recovery most recently serving the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Tim resides in Galivants Ferry with his wife Julie and their four children.

Phillip Anderson

Vice Chair, Grants Committee

Phillip Anderson is a Senior Vice President & Senior Lending Officer for Asheville, North Carolina-based HomeTrust Bank, serving the coast of South Carolina. Throughout his 22-year banking career, he has served in commercial banking, trust administration, retail banking, and market leadership roles with mid-size and regional banks in South Carolina and Georgia. He has always embodied the community banking model of building strong local relationships and being active in numerous non-profits and promoting their causes.
 
He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, GA, the Cannon Financial Institute’s Trust School, The Stonier Graduate School of Banking and Wharton Leadership program. He is also a graduate of several Chamber of Commerce Leadership programs over his career.
 
Phillip resides in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, with his wife Mary Beth and daughter Carolina. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and playing golf.

Ellen Barney Sycks

Stewardship & Communications Officer

ellen@mywcf.org
Office: 843-357-0165
Mobile: 614-893-7998


Ellen serves the Foundation as its Stewardship and Communications Officer, responsible for communicating with fund holders on a regular basis and providing advice when needed, particularly around fund development as well as relevant field of interest information.

A native of Hillsboro, Ohio, Ellen provides more than three decades of non-profit leadership experience, focusing on creating major gift and planned giving opportunities to support organizations’ programs, special projects and capital campaigns. Ellen received her B.A. in National Security Policy from The Ohio State University. She lives in Murrells Inlet with her husband Jay and their two cats, Mabel and Murray.

Chris Hanna

Director

Chris Hanna is a Senior Broker Associate with Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage. Born and raised in Myrtle Beach, he started in the real estate business in 1993. Chris is a member of the Coastal Carolinas, South Carolina and National Associations of REALTORS and is an active local community member as well, having served on various boards such as the Horry County Zoning Board of Appeals, the Coastal Carolina Athletic Foundation, and Horry County school district Carolina Forest Advisory Board. He is a member of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality and Oceanview Baptist Church. Chris is a graduate of Socastee High School in Myrtle Beach, and he received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Carolina at Coastal Carolina in 1992.

Rick Elliott

Chair

Rick Elliott is president of his family business, Elliott Realty, one of the most prominent real estate companies in North Myrtle Beach. As a native of Horry County, he has always made giving back to the community a part of his approach to business. Each guest who stays with Elliott Realty is given the option to add an additional $1 per night to their bill to be donated to the Elliott Realty Charitable Community Fund at Waccamaw Community Foundation, which invests in causes throughout the surrounding community. Rick brings this commitment to community philanthropy to his service on the Waccamaw Community Foundation Board of Directors. He has also served as the chairman of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce.



Tyler Easterling

Director

Tyler Easterling is a native of Marietta, Georgia and has resided in Georgetown County since moving to the area in 2002. Tyler is the president and COO of The Brandon Agency, an integrated marketing agency headquartered in Myrtle Beach. She is the current board chair for Coastal Montessori Charter School and serves on the boards of Helping Hands of Georgetown and Young Presidents’ Organization Southern 7 Chapter. She is a member of the 2018 Liberty Fellowship class.

Tyler holds an undergraduate degree in Journalism from the University of Mississippi and a Masters of Mass Communication from the University of South Carolina. She is an active member of Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church and enjoys spending time with her husband, Marshall, and two daughters, Julia and Anne Marshall.



Terri DeCenzo

Director

Terri serves as executive director of Women in Philanthropy and Leadership for Coastal Carolina University (WIPL). She is married to Coastal Carolina University President David A. DeCenzo, and when he joined the university in 2002, she became passionately involved with the life of the university, taking an active role in issues relating to student government and NCAA athletics, among others. Previously Terri has served on the boards of the American Red Cross and the Foundation for Georgetown Hospital System and was an adviser to the Safe Families Initiative that established Family Justice Center of Horry and Georgetown Counties. In 2016, Terri was awarded the Order of the Silver Crescent by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. A graduate of St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing and Towson University, she spent most of her career practicing in critical care. The DeCenzo’s have four children: Mark (his wife Jen), Meredith (and her husband Ryan Daley), Gabriella and Natalie; and one beautiful grandson, William Mason Evans.


Executive Director, Women in Philanthropy and Leadership for Coastal Carolina University (WIPL)

Dr. Tracy Bailey

Director

Dr. Tracy Bailey earned a Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in Language and Literacy at the University of South Carolina in May of 2013. She is a Teaching Associate with Coastal Carolina University teaching Intermediate Literacy Development and Instructional Practices for Early Literacy.

Dr. Bailey began her career in education as a high school English instructor and has worked in both rural and urban educational settings. After realizing the impact professional development and community literacy had on her personal and professional growth, she wanted others to experience this. She is the founder and executive director of Freedom Readers, Inc., a nonprofit company dedicated to promoting literacy. Tracy seeks to instill in teachers, students, and the community at large the belief that every student can learn and every learner has the responsibility to pass on new knowledge to another.

Dr. Bailey earned her BA from The College of Charleston- majoring in English Education- and a Masters in Secondary Education from Coastal Carolina University. She is married to award-winning writer, Issac J. Bailey, and is the mother of two wonderful children, Kyle and Lyric.



Brent Groome

Chair

A 1987 graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, Brent came to the Grand Strand area in 1989. After a 31 year career with HTC (Horry Telephone Cooperative), he retired in 2021.  In addition to his current role with WCF, he also serves as a member of the Board of Commissioners for HGTC. He is also active with his church; serving as a Sunday School teacher and congregational song leader.  He and his wife, Dana, live in the Conway area.

Shawna Mosley-Foster

Service and Operations Officer

shawna@mywcf.org
843-357-4483 x200

Shawna, a native of Jamaica, NY, has more than 15 years of experience working in the hospitality and tourism field. Since relocating to South Carolina in 2004, she spent a few more years working with a local hospitality company before joining WCF’s staff.  While a native New Yorker, Shawna has a rich heritage right here in the Waccamaw area. Her mother was born and raised on Sandy Island, and her father is from Bucksport. She enjoys cooking, stargazing with her family, cruising and once retired….RVing! Shawna and her husband are empty nesters and resides in Myrtle Beach. 

Mike Mancuso

Executive Director

mike@mywcf.org
843-357-0211

Mike is a veteran business leader with more than 30 years of experience as an innovative problem solver and change agent for nonprofit, banking and small business organizations. Mike is a skilled economic developer with background in community development, downtown redevelopment, industrial development and strategic planning. His passion is helping Communities and Businesses thrive and grow.

Most recently Mike served as the President and CEO of the Triangle East Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Foundation in Johnston County, NC and as Executive Director for the Sustainable Opportunity Development Center, Inc in Salem, OH. Mike and his wife Christine make their home in Little River, SC. They have 3 children and 5 grandchildren living in Charleston, SC, Atlanta, GA, & Austin TX. Mike enjoys boating on the ICW, tinkering in his workshop/garage and spending time with family and friends.