First Citizens Bank funds Outreach Education at Greenwood Genetic Center

From left, Lisa Sanders, Lynne Elliott and Jerry Stevens present the First Citizens gift to Boo Ramage (Interim Executive Director of the GGC Foundation), Steve Skinner, Dillon Gary (Genetics Instructor), Leta Tribble, Zach Bowens (Genetics Instructor) and Hannah Daniel (Genetics Instructor).

The Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC) serves 13,000 South Carolina students each year with innovative, hands-on genetics activities through its mobile science lab program – all provided at no cost to students or their schools.

First Citizens Bank pledged $30,000 over three years to help support this popular and engaging outreach program.

First Citizens Bank of Greenwood employees Matt Howard, VP and Business Banker; Lisa Sanders, Senior VP; Lynne Elliott, Mortgage Banker; and Jerry Stevens, Senior VP and Market Executive stopped by GGC to present the first $10,000 installment of their pledge to GGC’s Director, Steve Skinner, MD and Director of Education, Leta Tribble, PhD. They also received a tour of the Gene Machine which is beginning its 10th year of visiting middle and high schools across the state.

The Gene Machine bus, and its companion vehicle the Helix Express cargo van, are on the road throughout the school year visiting nearly 200 schools each year. Genetics instructors travel with the vehicles and teach science students about genetic disorders, instruct them on using laboratory equipment, and introduce them to career opportunities in the fields of genetics and biotechnology and other STEM areas.

“An understanding of genetics is vital, not only to those students who plan to study and enter careers in this growing field, but also for anyone who wants to be an informed healthcare consumer,” said Tribble. “We are grateful to First Citizens for recognizing the importance of genetics education and supporting our very active program.”

“GGC has always held STEM education as a priority as we encourage our next generation of clinicians and scientists,” shared Skinner. “Our outreach programs reach students at schools across our state with activities that foster enthusiasm for science, and First Citizens’ gift will help us make sure that we can continue to offer these engaging programs at no cost to schools.”

First Citizens past gifts to GGC have included funds to support a telegenetics program and sponsorship of the Center’s Gene Week public educational and awareness events.

“GGC offers so many worthwhile and life-changing initiatives, and First Citizens Bank is excited to continue to support their amazing work,” said Stevens. “These educational opportunities, which the mobile labs make available to all schools in South Carolina, are inspiring students and guiding them toward fulfilling and important careers.”

To learn how you can support this initiative, or other programs of GGC, visit www.GGC.org/foundation or contact the GGC Foundation at 864-388-1813.

Submitted by Lori Bassett