Leadership is in Kambrell Garvin's blood. The recent graduate and political science major's grandfather was the first African American elected to city council in Marion, S.C. – a seat his aunt now holds. But for inspiration, Garvin – who served two terms as president of the Council of Student Leaders – had to look no further than his mother, Sonji, who changed careers to help her son overcome his speech impediment.
When Garvin began to stutter at age 5, his mother studied to become a speech therapist, now working toward an Ed.D. She worked with Garvin to help him become a more confident speaker and prevail over his speech impediment.
"She wanted to ensure that speech wouldn't hinder me from accomplishing my goals," said Garvin. "Because of what she did, what was a weakness for me became a strength."
These days Garvin is not hesitant to talk to people; in fact, it's something he loves doing. The Columbia, S.C., native ran for CSL president because of his interest in connecting with Winthrop's student body and listening to their concerns. Garvin, the first student-elected CSL president in 10 years, worked with former CSL vice-president Kaitlin Sapp to address rising tuition costs, evaluate the campus' parking situation and improve security conditions of campus parking lots. He also acted as the student representative for Winthrop's Board of Trustees.
During his time at Winthrop, Garvin kept himself busy with campus activities. He volunteered with Project Rebound and the Boys and Girls Club of Rock Hill; is a member of Alpha Delta Lambda Academic Honor Society and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; and worked a peer mentor. Garvin also has acted as the delegate for the National Pan-Hellenic Council and as associate justice for the All Greek Council Judicial Board.
Garvin believes his work as CSL president will help him achieve future goals, which include law school and possibly a bid for political office.
"I expect that this experience will be something I can use for the rest of my life," said Garvin.
Garvin plans to spend two years with Teach for America before enrolling in either school law or a PhD program.
Last updated: 05/02/2011