AIKEN, S.C. (January 25, 2024) – Savannah River Mission Completion (SRMC) has provided a $20,000 donation to the University of South Carolina (USC) Aiken Pacer LIFE Program and will host a student worker.
Savannah River Mission Completion presents a $20,000 donation to University of South Carolina Aiken Pacer LIFE Program. From Left, USCA Chancellor Dr. Dan Heimmermann; SRMC Assistant Administrative Coordinator Claire Con; Venessa Hilton, SRMC Facility Support; Judy Beck, Dean of USCA School of Education; USCA Pacer LIFE student Quey Kelly; USCA Pacer LIFE Executive Director Dr. Melissa Martin; SRMC Chief Administrative Officer Mark Barth; and USCA Gift Officer Adrienne Patterson.
The donation will assist Pacer LIFE, a two-year program designed to serve students with intellectual disabilities (IDs). The PACER Credential is awarded to students who have successfully completed the program. The credential focuses on Promoting Academic, Community, and Employment Readiness (PACER).
According to SRMC President and Program Manager Dave Olson, hosting a student for a semester is a way for SRMC to uphold its commitment to both education outreach and workforce development.
“Savannah River Mission Completion has an opportunity to make a difference in a student’s life that otherwise might not have a chance to obtain work experience that provides skills and access for gainful employment,” Olson said. “Pacer LIFE is an excellent program for students with disabilities that have the capacity to learn and SRMC wants to offer them a chance at a better quality of life.”
USC Aiken Program Director Dr. Melissa Martin heads the program and said research shows that life beyond high school for individuals with intellectual disabilities is dismal.
“Only 18 percent of adults with ID are competitively employed, and their average yearly income is below the poverty line at $10,279,” Martin said. “Thanks to partners like SRMC that help offset the cost of this program, students with ID can go to college, live independently, and maintain meaningful employment.”
SRMC is the Liquid Waste Contractor at the Savannah River Site and comprises parent company BWX Technologies, Inc. with partners Amentum and Fluor. Its team brings the capabilities necessary to accelerate cleanup at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site through safe nuclear operations, optimized and integrated mission execution, and strong corporate governance.
The University of South Carolina Aiken is a regional comprehensive university offering bachelor's and master’s degrees to approximately 4,000 students in more than 70 academic programs. Named a top Regional Comprehensive Public College in the South for more than decades, USC Aiken students arrive from 41 states and 25 countries. They benefit from a high-caliber education that rivals the best in the nation at a net tuition far lower than the national average, with more than 50% of students receiving free tuition and 30% of students graduating with no debt after scholarships and other financial aid.