HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - When April Garner was at her lowest in life, she found strength to get back up, and she found the will to give back.
“I’ve been blessed more than anybody could ever imagine, said April Garner, as tears filled her eyes as she reflected on the struggles of her life. "God has blessed me with certain skill sets and talents, things that people don’t even realize I can do, but I try to pour as much of that into the community to help where I can.”
For the nearly ten years Garner has poured into the students at Horry Georgetown Technical College at the Conway campus, serving as director of career services. She said this is her purpose.
“I know that I’m here to continuously pour into other people," Garner said
She is responsible for developing career and professional development activities for the college’s students and alumni, establishing business and collegiate partnerships throughout the community and the state and for identifying employment opportunities for students and graduates.
There are so many stories of students who have come to her for guidance, and many of them she shares a connection.
Garner said at one point in her life, she was looking for redirection and struggling when she was single mother, suddenly laid off from her position in marketing and advertising.
“It’s just amazing how they (students) felt when they walked through the door, versus what’s happening now, as they are either leaving the yard, or they’ve had their first couple of days on the job,” Garner said. “I know that I couldn’t have made it without my faith in God."
It’s why she walks into HGTC every day believing she has something to offer.
“If someone wants to hear it, if somebody wants to receive it, I’m willing to give them what I got, I pour into people a lot," said Garner.
When she’s done at HGTC, her work doesn’t end, as she pours even more of herself into the community.
“The magazine and radio show of course, they are interconnected and so the Wednesday show is really a spin off of the magazine," Garner said.
“I realized the impact that could be made if we were able to bring guests on the show who had substantive information about things that affect the African American community," explained Garner.
The magazine features homegrown stories that feature everyday people, and the radio show a resource to educate listeners, by focusing on topics that include, health, medicine and politics.
“It’s as raw as it gets. We talk about anything. We have guest of all ages, all backgrounds, we have a lot of diversity on that show, we have a lot of support mainly because it is a platform to reach the African American community,” added Garner.
In 2018 Garner founded The Network, a social media black business community on Facebook. The Network has over 2,000 members who are black business owners or professionals and is supported by members of the African-American communities who wish to build business, education, and political connections by “buying or supporting black” in our communities.
“This group is not about race, it’s about support,” explained Garner.
She added it also inspires members to step out of their comfort zones and try new things.
Garner is well-involved in various community projects and said she is motivated every day to get up and be better no matter what comes her way. She added that serving is her purpose, and as long as she has the energy and strength she will keep going.
“I’m just motivated to help people because it could easily be me,” said Garner.