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Warren moves from KCBDSN to Sumter County board

Posted: July 7, 2015 6:19 p.m.
Updated: July 8, 2015 1:00 a.m.
Tenell Felder/C-I

Thoyd Warren has been at the KCBDSN for six years and began a new role as executive director at Sumter County’s Disabilities and Special Needs Board in July.

Thoyd Warren, executive director of the Kershaw County Board of Disabilities and Special Needs (KCBDSN) recently left to take up the same position at the Sumter County Disabilities and Special Needs Board (SCDSNB).

After being at the KCBDSN for six years, Warren said he will miss his staff members as well as the people he worked with in the community. 

“There is a wonderful staff here, they really care and are dedicated. The board of directors has been wonderful and so has the community,” Warren said.

At the SCDSNB, Warren will have similar responsibilities to those he had as the KCBDSN’s executive director. He said he is looking forward to bringing his experience and helping the board implement new programs. The program there includes approximately 22 different locations with 22 living facilities.

 “It’s exciting because it’s one of those opportunities where you can take a program from one level to the next,” Warren said.

For 20 years, Warren has worked with intellectually disabled people. His career began after he “stumbled” into it while in college at Winthrop University.

“When I was in college, I took a social work class and really liked it. Later, I got a call from a cousin of mine about a job working in a group home for folks with intellectual disabilities. That opportunity was good for my major and it gave me a job. I started in 1988, and I worked a couple of years in college … it’s been my passion since then,” Warren said. 

Warren wants people to know those with intellectual disabilities are able to be a part of, and participate in, the communities in which they live.

“They are loving folks; just because they have a disability doesn’t mean that they can’t be productive. We want to get that stigma away from them. We have people who have jobs like you and I, they make good money, they have their own homes and some have their own cars. We’ve seen some people become as independent as possible for them, and that brings you some joy,” Warren said.

While reflecting on his time at the KCBDSN, Warren recalled his appreciation of Kershaw County’s community support for the board.

“That doesn’t happen in a lot of places. I see that when I talk to other executive directors across the state. I think we take for granted the support that happens here because it’s a very charitable town. If you could show that there is a need, people help you out,” Warren said.

Warren said he anticipates building similar support at the new agency where he is now working.

“It’s good to be a part of a small town where you can go to people and talk with them. It’s not all just about paper work, it’s about relationships. I know I’m going to have to find that in Sumter,” Warren said.

This will be a goal of his because it better serves the population for which he advocates. 

“One of the things I want to do is to get the Sumter board more involved in the community like we are here, like having a better United Way presence,” Warren said. “All of those things help the people that we serve, making those business connections and making sure that we get the individuals out into the community. We want them to be a part of the Sumter community. They can thrive and do things just as you and I can.”

Warren said though he is leaving the KCBDSN, his family is staying in Camden and he will continue to be involved in the community.

“We didn’t have to move; we are kind of ingrained in the Camden community. I grew up here, my kids are in school here. I may be leaving from the 9 to 5, but I will still be around to help in the community with anything that’s going on,” he said.

Warren said he will continue to let people know about the services offered at the KCBDSN.

 “The services here have been one of those best kept secrets so were just trying to get the word out into the community. There are a lot of people who might qualify for services who might not know about it,” Warren said. 

 

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