Thursday, March 25, 2021

Stories of Hope!

It has now been just a little over a year since the Corona-Virus was declared as a global health emergency. In February, we asked you all to share your greatest transformation/adaptation in the last year along with any positive stories & messages of hope, faith, or aspiration that we could share with our community. Thank you everyone for sharing! Now it is time for us to share these messages and stories with you. We are all in this together and we rise by lifting one another.

How have you stayed busy (safely) during the last year of the pandemic?

·     “Tennis, hiking, and reading. Ok - some mindless TV as well.”

·     “I've kept busy by writing and phone calls sharing an encouraging message of hope…” 

·     “Be a light to others, be encouraging and helpful. Doing good things and enjoying the gift of life.”

·     “I have stayed busy with my kids keeping me busy mostly. I have been dealing with many health issues including stage 3 kidney failure but i continue to hold my head up and fight until I can get a transplant from the list or find a living donor.”


Did you gain any new hobbies during the last year of the pandemic? (If yes, then what?)

·     “Hiking has become a new hobby and love during the COVID time. We started hiking on the Palmetto Trail here in Charleston along the coast and have hiked into a new area of the state. Additionally, the "dream" of hiking the Appalachian Trail started in August with one weekend a month and I am so looking forward to the weather changing and the next section in late March.”

·     “I have learned more and have tried new ways of cooking things as I want to expand my culinary horizon.”


Did you learn something new or try something new during the last year of the pandemic? (If yes, then what?)

·     “I have always loved the outdoors and sports but having the time and opportunity to hike has enriched my life and given me a new perspective for nature. Keeping safe and distancing from my more regular hobbies allowed me the chance to go for a walk in the woods. This has made me sane, happy, healthier, and more optimistic about life.”


We want to hear what was your greatest adaptation/transformation/ adjustment/modification during the pandemic:

·     “Work has been a large adaptation as we as recreation professionals have learned how to navigate new protocols in bringing people together but in a safe way. I have enjoyed my job more in the last 12 months than I have in a long time just trying to become more essential to the people we serve.”

·     “Having looked up the information that was given me, I've been uplifted and encouraged to look forward to better times ahead with confidence all the Bible says will come to be.”

·     “Taking care of myself quickly became a priority as much as I take care of others. I had to learn how to put myself first and that that was ok.”

·     “My biggest change would have to be the schooling from home as I had to go back and relearn some things myself. It is definitely not the same as the way I learned it years ago."


Do you have a positive story to come out of the last year of the pandemic? (If so, please share below)

·     “Everything has been positive but I have become closer to family and gained friends from this pandemic as we are all in this together. Life is too short to let many things get us down.”


Meet the Staff Bio - Elizabeth Wincenciak

MEET THE STAFF: Elizabeth Wincenciak

Title:  Fiduciary Services Case Manager 

Years Working for Origin: 9

 1.     What drew you to Origin SC originally? And how has the organization changed since? 

A good friend of mine began working at Origin SC before me and it sounded like an interesting position. I came on 9 years ago as a Representative Payee Counselor and since then I have watched all the programs that Origin SC offers grow and do a great job with serving our community.


2.     What has surprised you the most about working at Origin SC? 


What has surprised me most by working at Origin SC is how important the programs we offer are to our clients and our community. Without these programs, a lot of individuals would be in unfortunate situations. We work hard to ensure that our clients have the best services that we can offer.


3.     What is an experience that has really shaped who you are? 


The past 9 years working as Origin SC has shaped who I am by making me more empathetic and patient. You never know what other individuals are going through and I believe that it is so important to always be kind and understanding.


4.      How has Origin SC helped you in your career development?


Origin SC has always given me the opportunities and tools to grow my career within the organization. I work with a lot of wonderful people who have always supported me and pushed me to be the best that I can be.



5.      What is one thing that you are most proud of?  

I am proud of how far I have come over the past 10 years. I have grown to become a better mother, friend, and colleague. I look forward to becoming even better over the next 10 years.

Monday, February 1, 2021

February: Financial Aid Awareness Month (#FINAIDFEB)

February is recognized as Financial Aid Awareness Month to help provide crucial information to students and families about access to federal, state, and institutional student aid. Students spend most of their time applying for college, and not enough time preparing for college costs. The financial aid process is the most important part of college preparation. Applying for financial aid can  help you avoid a lot of debt by providing you with the options available through your school and the federal government. Most students qualify for scholarships and grants, which can  make college a realistic and affordable option. February is also the perfect time to complete your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) if you have not already done so.


-Have the following documents and information ready when filling out the FAFSA:

ü  Your most recent year's tax forms, or end-of-the-year pay stubs

ü  Your W-2 forms

ü  Records of the most recent year's untaxed income, such as child     support and support from agencies such as Social Services, Social Security, and the Veteran Administration. (Do not attach copies of these documents to your FAFSA, they are only for reference when you file.)

ü  The student's correct social security number


Save TIME & ENERGY with these 10 HELPFUL TIPS when filling out the FAFSA!


  1. Do not leave any questions blank. If your answer is zero, then write "0".
  2. Read and follow instructions carefully, even if you have filled out the FAFSA before, because questions and instructions change.
  3. If you are a parent with multiple children, fill out a separate FAFSA for each student. Make sure each social security number (SSN) is correct for each child. Incorrect SSNs delay processing.
  4. If you are a dependent student, ask your parents to help you fill out the FAFSA. Financial aid offices contact the student first so it is important that both you and your parent(s) know the information on the FAFSA.
  5. Obtain the Federal school code from the school or schools you are interested in attending.
  6. Double check figures and calculations. 40% of the forms with mistakes are delayed. Mistakes can also limit the amount of aid you receive.
  7. Do not report the net value of your primary residence. Asset questions are only for secondary and investment properties.
  8. Both the parent and the student (if applicable) must sign and date the FAFSA.
  9. Fill out the forms early. This gives you an advantage because campus-based aid is awarded on a first-come first-serve basis.
  10.  Also, the FAFSA must be filed every year. Report any changes in your financial situation to your financial aid administrator because they can affect your eligibility.


Once you receive your FAFSA award amount, it is time to ask yourself some questions. Does this amount cover my full tuition? If not, how much am I left to pay for?  How  will I re-pay these loans once I have  graduated?  We want to help you with this stressful thought process!

More than 42 million borrowers nationwide currently have student debt of $100,000 or less. Did you know South Carolina is ranked 19th in the nation for average student debt load? According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, about 1 in 4 borrowers are delinquent or in default on their student loans. Whether you are preparing to go to college, are currently a student with student loans, or you have graduated college and have student loan payments, we are here to guide you.

Our certified counselors assess your budget, loans, employment, and financial goals to determine the best option. We can walk you through submitting applications or contact your student loan servicer. We can help you find the repayment plan that is manageable & works best for you.

  • Gain an understanding of your repayment options
  • Receive assistance with the application process
  • Learn what to do if you are in default on a student loan
  • Learn about loan consolidation as an option to better manage your student loans

Student Loan Counseling Session: $60 one-time upfront fee, refundable if unable to work with your student loans.

Call 843.628.3000 email us us to schedule an individual appointment with one of our licensed credit counselors.