It’s great to meet you!
Cara is a National Board Certified Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She has taught students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing for 20 years in a variety of educational settings, as well as serving as an administrator at the district level for a Midlands’ D/HOH program.
Unable to accept the status quo with regard to intervention and education of students with a hearing loss, she co-founded Beginnings SC to focus on proactive intervention and parent education and empowerment.
When Cara is not working, she spends her time crafting, cooking, and hanging out with her kids.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | 803-463-8526
Mary Reaves, Director of Programs, MRC, CRC
Mary worked for 10 years providing individual and family therapy, serving Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and adults with the South Carolina Department of Mental Health. She has extensive training in deafness, Deaf culture, counseling issues with deaf/hard of hearing, hearing loss and its impact on family systems.
Mary co-founded Beginnings SC to focus on proactive intervention and parent education and empowerment.
In her free time, Mary bakes with her three kids, sews, enjoys yoga, and goes on date-nights with her husband, Larry.
Contact: email@example.com | 803-206-6895
Program Coordinator, Matt Owens
Matt Owens graduated with his Masters in Social Work from the University of South Carolina in 2018. As part of his educational experience, he partnered with Beginnings SC as a student-consult, helping to address a critical need in reaching our Spanish-speaking families.
Growing up as a sibling to a Deaf sister, Matt understands the important role that family members play in the development of their child with hearing loss. He joined the Beginnings SC team in August 2018 to connect his passion for political action, as well as his knowledge and expertise, to create more positive outcomes for those with hearing loss in South Carolina.
Matt has been playing volleyball competitively since age 12, and enjoys running, biking, cooking, and attending community events in his free time.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | 803-216-1171
Megan Dorn, Parent Education Specialist, BS
Megan graduated from Gallaudet University with a BS in Family and Child Studies. Megan has experience providing services in Early Intervention for families of deaf and hard of hearing children.
Megan is a deaf adult that uses American Sign Language while also wearing a cochlear implant.
She loves to travel while also being a huge advocate to the Deaf community. She resides in Columbia, SC with her husband, Christopher, and son Crosby.
Contact: email@example.com | VP: 803-336-1002
Elaine Belue, Parent Education Specialist
Dorinda (Dee) J. Huggins, Parent Education Specialist, MA, MSP, CCC-SLP
Dee is a semi-retired speech language pathologist, receiving her Master in Speech Pathology from USC. Her primary practice was in the public school setting with experience serving hearing impaired students as well as experience in early intervention working with families. She has a M.A. in rehabilitation counseling from Gallaudet University and was an education planning specialist at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf.
Dee is excited to support the mission and vision of Beginnings SC providing education and support to families to ensure their children with hearing loss are empowered to reach their highest educational and vocational potential.
When not working, Dee loves Carolina football and basketball, Lady Gamecocks, and Carolina Panthers. She also enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, flower arranging and serving the community through special programs with the Columbia chapters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and National Coalition of 100 Black Women.
Lisa Jolly, Parent Education Specialist
Lisa Jolly, M. Ed., is excited to provide unbiased guidance and information to parents of children with hearing loss. She participated in Beginnings as a parent while living in Charlotte, NC after the birth of her second child. With the support of her Beginnings Parent Educator, she and her husband were empowered to make choices for her son based on facts and consideration of all options for communication. Her family remains connected to her Charlotte tribe where she founded Hitch-Up a social and educational support group for families of those with hearing loss. They reunite each May at Camp Cheerio where all communication modalities are present and respected as families come together to learn, network and play.
She is currently co-president of AG Bell’s SC Chapter, serves as director of Lowcountry Special Needs Network and is a member of an advisory panel with the Medical University of South Carolina charged with promoting comprehensive family wellness for children with neurodevelopmental disorders. She passionately educates about ability where many may see disability and firmly believes every person has a gift to use to better the world.
Married to her college sweetheart, Steve, the Jolly’s and their 2 sons, enjoy spending time visiting the mountains and beaches for family trips.
Lauren Ledbetter, Parent Education Specialist
Lauren has been a teacher of the Deaf/hard of hearing for 5 years, serving students in both self-contained and itinerant models. She graduated from Clemson University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a minor in American Sign Language; she gained certification in Deaf/Hard of Hearing Education from Converse College. She has experience teaching Deaf and hard of hearing children from preschool to high school using a variety of communication modalities. Lauren is very excited for the opportunity to educate and support parents and their families!
Lauren and her husband, Darren, live in Lexington with their cat and two ferrets! She enjoys crafting, calligraphy, and cooking in her free time.
Aileen Pagán-Welch, Parent Education Specialist