Bamberg student moves forward with determination

Jerry Durgan, Contributing Writer

Sometimes, there are struggles in a person’s life that prevent him/her from pushing forward to see what the outcome will be. Many times we give up because of how the situation may look for us, but that wasn’t the case for Walter Kinlaw, a former student of the Bamberg Job Corps Center. Mr. Kinlaw had had some difficult encounters but it didn’t stop him from moving forward.

Walter Kinlaw, 18, came to the Bamberg Job Corps Center in August of 2003 from Miami, Florida with a 10th grade education. He attended high school at Homestead Senior High School in Miami, Florida. He relocated to Bishopville, South Carolina with his mother, Gloria Kinlaw and three siblings, Gloria, Shauntia, and Dwight Kinlaw.

He came to the Bamberg Job Corps Center with the dream of obtaining his GED and securing a trade that would help him achieve success in the world of work. He reached his goal in only four months earning his GED and a trade in Business Clerical.

The Bamberg Job Corps Center arranged for Mr. Kinlaw to do his Work Based Learning (WBL) at Denmark Technical College where he had an opportunity to work with staff from Denmark Technical College who took a liking to him.

Walter was unsure of what direction he wanted to take. The Denmark Technical College Staff suggested that he take the Denmark entrance test to see if he could pass so he could attend the college. Taking the employee’s advice, he passed the entrance test. From this point, he decided to enroll at Denmark Technical College.

He enrolled for the fall and spring semester and both of the summer sessions, earning over 30+ hours from Denmark Technical College during 2004.

He enrolled into the military (Army) January of 2005 where he finished his Basic Training in Fort Knox, Kentucky. But he didn’t stop there, after completing his basic training, he continued and completed his Advanced Individual Training in Aberdeen, Maryland. After he completed AIT, he worked in Miami, Florida but he still made it his business to come to South Carolina monthly to do his drill. He displayed patience, persistence and dedication in his educational endeavors.

“In spite of how the situation may look I always feel there are angels all around” he said.

Presently, Mr. Kinlaw is completing his internship under Mr. Angus Kirkland, the Trainee Employee Assistance Program (TEAP) Specialist at the Bamberg Job Corps Center while attending South Carolina State University where he is Senior.

Mr. Kirkland said that “Mr. Kinlaw as a graduate of Bamberg County Job Corps, had a good idea of the operation of the center. He works diligently with the students and has transformed from a student employee to staff.” Mr. Kirkland who thinks very fondly of Mr. Kinlaw goes on to say that “Mr. Kinlaw has taken a leadership role in the Gentlemen’s Club on center and he would be an asset to any job because he is motivated and has the drive to keep pushing on and the ability to inspire others.”