MEET THE TEAM!

Darnell Byrd McPherson

Executive Director

Email: dmcpherson@darlingtoncountyfirststeps.org

Desktop: 843-857-3148

Mobile: 843-861-8866

Mrs. Byrd McPherson currently serves as the Executive Director of Darlington County First Steps (DCFS) and has held this position since 2008.  Under her leadership, she has taken DCFS to new heights while engaging community partners to work together to a make a difference in the lives of young families in Darlington County. During her tenure as the Executive Director, she has expanded both the scope of services and the number of families now served by DCFS. She accomplished this feat by partnering with United Way of Hartsville and securing additional funding from the Eastern Carolina Community Foundation, the Byerly Foundation, Bi-Lo Charities, Fact Forward formerly known as the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Duke Energy Foundation, Hootie and the Blowfish Foundation, Children's Trust Fund of South Carolina, The Duke Endowment, and United Way of South Carolina.  

Mrs. Byrd McPherson earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Wesleyan University in Human Resources Management.  In 1989, Mrs. Byrd McPherson was authorized to practice as a Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker, a license she still maintains.  In 2011, she completed the S. C. Education Policy Fellows Program and in 2014 was named by the Region IV Head Start Association Humanitarian of the Year and Hartsville Chapter of Omega Psi Phi, Alpha Beta Beta Chapter, Citizen of the Year. In 2015, Mrs. McPherson was given the Woman of Achievement Award presented by the Greater Hartsville Chamber of Commerce and the Murray L. Vincent Outstanding Prevention Professional Award presented by Fact Forward. Mrs. Byrd McPherson currently serves as Mayor of her hometown, Lamar, S.C. 
 
Her motto for living: All things are possible!
 

 

Shelagh Hendrickson

Finance Specialist

Email: shendrickson@darlingtoncountyfirststeps.org

Ms. Hendrickson, native of Windsor Locks, Connecticut, joined the DCFS team in December of 2016. She was formerly employed with The Byerly Foundation for 18 years. She is a grandmother of one, and has a daughter and son. 

 

Patricia Sullivan

Communications Manager/Project Coordinator

Email: psullivan@darlingtoncountyfirststeps.org

Mobile: 843-339-0819

Ms. Sullivan is originally from Gaffney, SC and is currently a Hartsville, SC resident. She graduated from Gaffney High School in 2010 and from Coker College in May of 2014, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications. During her four years at Coker, she played on the Women's Basketball Team. 

In addition to serving as the Communications Specialist for DCFS, she is the Project Coordinator for the Choose Well Initiative as well.

Ms. Sullivan also serves on the Hartsville Housing Authority and Kiwanis Club of Hartsville Board of Directors. In 2016, she graduated from the Leadership Hartsville Program and is also a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Chapter of Hartsville. 

 Ms. Sullivan enjoys playing basketball and spending time with family and friends. She has been with DCFS since September, 2014.

 

Whitney A. Davis

Community Health Worker/Certified Family Planning Health Worker

Email: wdavis@darlingtoncountyfirststeps.org

Mrs. Davis is from Hartsville, SC and graduated from Mayo High School for Math, Science and Technology in 2004. From there, she went to college and attended Coastal Carolina, graduating in 2008 with a degree in Communications. She previously worked with Teen Pregnancy in Chesterfield gaining experience with youth, reproductive health education, contraceptive use, planned and unplanned pregnancies. Mrs. Davis is currently a member of Community Health Worker Ambassador Program and a graduate of the 2019-2020 Leadership Hartsville Class.  In addition, she is the Community Health Worker and lead Family Planning Health Worker for the organization.

Mrs. Davis is passionate about working with the community and providing needed resources. She joined the DCFS team in September of 2016.

 

Britney Brisbon

Parent Educator/Certified Family Planning Health Worker

Email: bbrisbon@darlingtoncountyfirststeps.org

Mobile: 843.639.0795

Britney Brisbon, BSW, joined the DCFS team on August 1, 2017.  Britney comes to us with a solid background in working with parents and has young children of her own.  She is a graduate of Coker College and grew up in the Hartsville Community. Britney will be serving as the Parent Educator for the Parents as Teachers (PAT) program.

 

Jerline Lowry

Motheread/Fatheread Facilitator 

Ms. Lowry is a retired elementary school teacher who assumed the role as the Motheread/Fatheread Facilitator in 2011. She worked with Richland County School District I for seventeen years, Darlington County School District for ten years, and dedicated fourteen years toward child development programs.  

Ms. Lowry is a graduate of the University of North Carolina- Charlotte.

 

Executive Director of Darlington County First Steps, Darnell McPherson, speaks on why the work that we do is important in the community.