She Thrives: Educator works to create ‘healthy village’ for youth in Conway
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Claudine Schofield has a passion and an energy like no other because she truly believes, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’
Many who work with Schofield say they are inspired by her.
"She is operating from the perspective of this is where God wants me to be, this is what God is asking me to do, and that’s what I’m going to do,” said Yaminah Mishoe, a teacher at Conway High School and longtime friend of Schofield’s.
"She’s sincere. Everything with her is genuine, she’s authentic, she doesn’t have a hidden agenda. She is just ... helping others is her life,” said Tanika McKissick, who is also Schofield’s friend and the assistant principal at Conway High.
Now a 10th-grader at CHS, Alexandria Williams said she has known Schofield most of her life, calling her a mentor at school and at their church, Mason Temple Church of God in Christ, where she serves as the youth department chairperson.
“Mrs. Schofield is an educated, strong black woman,” said Williams.
For more than 20 years, Schofield has made it her mission to empower youth.
“I just have to make sure that I’m daily doing something to impact this world, not necessary world, but our young people,” said Schofield with a passionate smile.
She has spent most of her career at Conway High, where she’s helped countless high school students. She has been a teacher, a career specialist, and now the community liaison and at-risk coordinator, offering career resources and mentor support for both parents and students to help keep them on the right path.
Schofield is responsible for coordinating the RISE program, which stands for Respect, Integrity, Service, and Excellence. It’s an after-school mentoring program where students meet once a week, are served a meal, and receive academic assistance. She said she draws energy from the youth.
“All my life, I’ve interacted and just had love for young people. I will never admit the fact that I’m getting older,” Schofield joked.
That energy is needed as she stays busy in the Conway community, whether it’s organizing free school supply giveaways at area churches, organizing family day at a local park, or working with the Shepherd’s Table, a non-profit organization that provides meals and food to families in need.
She said she’s thankful for her husband, Homer, who allows her to be involved. Her work and dedication, she added, derives from her upbringing and the old African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.”
“I have to credit the fact that I was raised in a healthy village and that village taught me servanthood,” Schofield said. “I firmly believe it takes not just a village but a healthy village because a contaminated village will produce contaminated people.”
In addition, to her community service and full-time employment with Horry County Schools, Schofield is also the voice for the young people. Set the radio dial to 98.5 KISS FM every Saturday morning to hear her on ‘Sound Off,’ a teen talk show she started nearly 10 years ago.
Schofield said before her career in education she worked in radio broadcast, and that someone recommended her to bring community outreach radio to the area. She agreed to do so, but only if teens could do the show.
That show focuses on real issues and allows teens to talk about their concerns and offer perspective on what’s happening in the community.
“I firmly believe that having a voice is essential for our young people and that’s why I call it the ‘Sound Off,’ because that’s what we do.” Schofield said. “A lot of times young people are so misunderstood and I think I connect that piece, and I get it.”
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