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Alumni Spotlight

Marc Himes, ’01 MSWMarc Himes edited

Marc Himes is the program manager for the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families. The Columbia-based organization is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System and supports statewide fatherhood programs serving fathers and families. He is also a current MSW field instructor.

The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families produced, “Facing Early Fatherhood,” a documentary into the lives of three young men who became fathers resulting from an unintended pregnancy. A public screening of the documentary was held on Jan. 11 at the Richland Library Sandhills.

How did the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families develop the idea for producing the documentary?

The purpose of the documentary is to bring more awareness and showcase the issue of young fathers, including their needs and challenges. We identified three young men in our program, two from our Horry County program, A Father’s Place, and another participating in our Midlands Fatherhood Coalition. We tracked the good, bad and ugly of their lives over a period of about 10 months.

What other programs by the center have been offered to bring awareness to young fathers?

We hosted statewide public forums, “What Young Fathers Need,” which were panels with our young men and the challenges they face. In addition, we have done poverty simulations, created a resource webpage for young fathers, www.youngfatherhood.com, and currently developing a curriculum called, “Realty Check,” to help young men make wise decisions regarding having children.

How did the College of Social Work help prepare you for your career?

Social work gave me a broader perspective to do more from a community and organizational standpoint. It was very beneficial to learn how organizations work and provide services, since my goal was to oversee programs.

How satisfying is it for you to work with MSW students as a field instructor?

I like to be a resource and help students overcome some of the same challenges I experienced. I have worked with students for most of my career, from low-income first-generation students to more traditional roles, such as career development at the Darla Moore School of Business. Helping students is my passion, and it’s great to give them practical exposure to the workforce, including issues they may experience in a full-time position.  

What advice would you give someone studying or considering a career in social work?

Keep your options open. Students may come in with preconceived notions about what they will be doing or want to do. For example, a student may have a field placement in one area, and find it is not what they enjoy, or they might be exposed to an area they did not previously consider. It is hard to see the big picture, especially for someone coming straight from undergrad without as many life experiences, but keeping an open mind and learning from every experience will help carve out a career. 

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