HTA pic

On February 1, the grand opening of Hampton’s Transitional Academy was celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The opening marks nearly two years of red tape but Hampton says it was worth it to help young women who are aging out of foster care.

Photo by Michaele Duke

Mary Hampton has been conducting therapeutic care for foster children and through her experience she saw a need for a transitional environment. In 2018, she began her journey of opening the Hampton Transitional Academy (HTA) for girls and on February 1, she saw her dream come true.

Hampton celebrated a ribbon cutting ceremony in front of the newly constructed home at 1372 Sumter Highway. “It’s been a long journey and I’m feeling really great,” said Hampton.

HTA is a nonprofit whose purpose is to prevent homelessness for those about to age out of Foster Care. Qualified staff will work to meet the girls’ psychological and educational needs, provide individual and group therapy and training of social skills among other services.

The home will house eight young ladies, ages 16 to 21 and will be staffed by qualified individuals and a counselor and therapist. “Most of the women I have working here have Masters degrees, some have a couple,” said Hampton. The girls must either work or attend school to qualify for the program.

The attendants included County Supervisor Tiffany Wright and Kingstree Mayor Darren Tisdale. Hampton reached out to the community for support and was rewarded. Wright committed her and council’s support by offering job shadowing. “Having been allowed to work with youth in our team CERT program I do understand the necessity for people to have good mentors behind them,” said Wright. “Some of our children have gone on and done better things.”

Hampton also said she will invite different businesses to conduct workshops such as banking and invite the girls to shadow. During the tour, a group called “Finding Barbara Nave” donated books for the library. Barbara Nave has been missing since 2017. For more information call the office at (843) 515-0187.