Clara Benson


Name: Clara Benson
Residence: Charleston, South Carolina
Degree: Psychology

A date with a Winthrop University alumnus revealed a new educational path for Clara Benson.

Benson, a psychology major from Charleston, South Carolina, was talking to her date about schools, and he suggested she apply at Winthrop. She held herself back, fearing her past academic struggles would prevent her from being accepted – but she was pleasantly surprised when the acceptance letter came.

“When I came to Winthrop for Transfer Orientation, I was like, ‘Yeah, this is where I need to be,'” she explained. “The Orientation Leaders were so kind, and everyone was so welcoming and supportive.”

At 33, Benson is considered a non-traditional student: a student completing or pursuing a degree outside of the typical 18- to 22-year-old age range.

“I reached out to my Transfer Orientation Leader Dominique and asked if she wanted to be friends, and she said yes!” Benson said.

Benson ended up serving as a Transfer Orientation Leader herself.

She said some of her Winthrop courses have been especially helpful over the last year as she launched her nonprofit, Community Resources for Enduring Wellness (CREW), out of a need for accessible, equitable and welcoming public health resources within underserved communities in South Carolina. The nonprofit also hopes to, in the future, provide more resources that will include actionable steps for communities to achieve whole-body wellness.

She's been juggling school full time and working on CREW's new initiative, the Black Wellness Project, an online resource for people to find Black health and wellness professionals across the state.

After her May 2021 graduation, she plans to hire an assistant director and a paid intern – “ideally from Winthrop” – and expand CREW's offerings.

“I love this work, and I'm super grateful that I've already found it and my lane of movement,” she said. “I'm just out here trying to do my part.”