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Teresa Loving

Teresa Loving, founder of SOAR Academy, is the 2008 recipient of theMary L. Thomas Award for Civic Leadership and Community Change.

Teresa was recognized for her efforts in establishing SOAR Academy, a nonprofit organization serving children with special needs in the greater Spartanburg area.  Teresa founded SOAR in response to a critical need that arose in our community when cuts in federal funding forced a local non-profit serving children with special needs to close its doors. Teresa knew that early intervention is critical to the success of special needs children under 3 years of age.

With this in mind, she brought together a core group of educators, therapists, parents and community leaders to develop a program where children as early as 12 months of age can receive care in a setting that offers both academic enrichment and therapy in one location.  In just 2 short years, many children are soaring to heights their parents would have only dreamed possible. Thanks to the vision and inspiration of Teresa Loving, SOAR Academy is giving children living with special needs the opportunity to find Success, Opportunity,  Achievement and Reward (SOAR).

At the Annual Meeting, The Foundation honored Teresa in the presence of more than 400 community members.  She was presented with a hand-sculpted award and a $5,000 cash grant, which Teresa has chosen to invest in the children of SOAR Academy.

Learn more about the history of the Mary L. Thomas Award for Civic Leadership & Community Change and review past recipients.