About Us

Learn about our mission, values, and who we are.  Meet our Board Members, who are crucial to our success, along with the Beaufort County First Steps staff!


Every Child will arrive at Kindergarten ready to succeed


  • The years of early childhood are a critical window of development during which much of human potential is shaped.
  • Families are the single most important influence on the development of their young children.
  • The work of supporting families and caregivers is a collaborative effort between state and local stakeholders within the public, private and faith sectors.
  • School readiness is the result of a child’s development in many areas, with each contributing to the child’s success.
  • Services must be individualized and adaptable to meet the unique needs of children and families.
  • We value, and demonstrate in our collaborative work and advocacy, diverse perspectives in the development of public policy and programs.
  • To achieve desired results, services must be high-quality and grounded in strong evidence. First Steps operates within a culture of accountability.

Meet the Board


NamePositionBoard CategoryPlace of Employment
Anita “Lynn” SingletonChairCounty School DistrictBeaufort County School
Tonya Allen-JenkinsVice-ChairChild Care, EC ProviderPenn Center Inc.
James WilliamsTreasurerNon-ProfitBeaufort Jasper EOC, Head Start
Yajaira Benet Uzcategui Non-profitPASOs-BJHCHS, Inc.
Ronald Manyin Non-ProfitFripp Island Friends of Music
Nancy Priester DSSBeaufort County Department of Social Services
York Glover Faith CommunityRetired
Marilyn Jenkins Early Childhood Ed.Retired
Kathleen M. McTeer County LibraryBeaufort County Library
Ernestine Morris Early Childhood Ed.Retired
Madie Orage Green DHECBeaufort County Department of Health & Environmental Control
Olandor Lewis Head Start RepresentativeBeaufort Jasper EOC, Head Start
Kelly ZytynskiSecretaryPre-K Primary EducatorChild Enrichment Center/Baptist Church of Beaufort

Beaufort County First Steps Staff

Betty Washington, Executive Director
Lucette Brown, Parent Educator
Sheryl Newton, Early Child Educator
Solimar Abbott, Community Health Worker
Erin Mathews, Program Specialist