JOHNSTON, S.C. (WFXG) - A new program launched in August 2023 by USC Aiken aims to support special needs students through employment and independent living opportunities. Families got to learn about it through PacerLIFE Family Night at Strom Thurmond High School.

According to a release from the Edgefield County School District, PacerLIFE will give students the chance for continued education through college courses with the goal of getting a competitive career. The 'LIFE' in PacerLIFE serves as an acronym 'Learning is for Everyone.'

“Only eighteen percent of those with intellectual disabilities nationally are employed, and of those who are
employed, they are only making around eleven thousand dollars per year,” stated Dr. Melissa Martin, USC Aiken PacerLIFE Program Director. “Programs like this have
started across the country, but there are none here in the CSRA. We feel our campus at USC Aiken is a good fit. Our
campus is smaller than some larger schools and we have a great layout. We feel that will allow us to provide the
support students will need.”

For more information on the new PacerLIFE program coming to USC Aiken in 2023, contact USC Aiken
PacerLIFE Program Director, Dr. Melissa Martin, by email at [email protected] or office phone at (803) 648-3381.

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