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Executives pose with ceremonial check
Pictured L to R: Trey Simon, SC Student Loan President & CEO; Power:Ed Executive Director Claire Gibbons; Mandy Gattis, Austin Mandeville, and Henry Lewis, Executive Director of SC EMS Association.

COLUMBIA, SC — June 28,2023  The South Carolina Emergency Medical Services Association (SCEMSA), a nonprofit dedicated to improving EMS through advocacy, collaboration, and education, has been awarded a $35,000 grant to boost education accessibility in rural SC, from Power:Ed, a philanthropy of SC Student Loan Corporation

The funds will be used to update and expand workforce training curricula to allow SCEMSA to serve more EMT candidates, particularly those in rural areas without ready access to other training programs. The goal is to increase opportunities for current and future EMS providers through timely, accessible, and cost-effective education across all populations and communities.

EMS as a critical need service is experiencing significant workforce shortages, and the focus of this project is to increase access to EMS education for the communities that are most significantly underserved (rural and disparate communities) through utilization of distributive education models in partnership with the South Carolina Regional Offices for training. The current education model fails to reach rural and/or disparate populations, so with its partners, SCEMSA will use a distributed/hybrid education model that takes education to the student when and where it is meaningful for them. This allows participation in initial EMS education across the state and aids in delivering education to the communities and EMS agencies who are most significantly impacted by a lack of providers.

“Thanks to the Power:Ed grant, SCEMSA will be able to expand this project significantly to reach more students across the state and make a meaningful impact on the access to EMS education thus helping EMS see more candidates in the workforce,” said SCEMSA Education Coordinator Austin Mandeville.

“SCEMSA can make a real difference in the success and well-being of so many SC students and families across our state. EMS is a critical lifesaving service and not enough EMTs are available to meet the needs of all South Carolinians, particularly those living in rural communities and underserved areas. We can do something to help, and we are so excited about the potentially transformative impact they will have,” said Power:Ed Director Claire Gibbons.

In FY2022-23, Power:Ed has awarded 23 grants totaling $900,000 to South Carolina education and career readiness organizations, including SCEMSA. Grants are administered quarterly, and the next grant funding deadline is July 1, 2023.


The South Carolina EMS Association (SCEMSA) is a nonprofit organization committed to creating a unified voice for EMS providers across all sectors in the state of South Carolina. Our mission is to advance EMS through advocacy, collaboration, and education. No matter what sector of EMS providers work in, we work to foster a safe and successful environment in which every provider can thrive.  You can learn more at:

About Power:Ed

Founded in 2019, Power:Ed, a philanthropy of SC Student Loan is dedicated to creating opportunities for South Carolina’s youth and adults by supporting low-income, minority, and first-generation students; improving access to college and degree completion; and creating pathways to quality workforce opportunities. Organizations serving middle school through post-college talent who are interested in applying for a grant or partnering with Power:Ed, should visit


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