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MTC Counseling and Career Services Director Honored with Department of Corrections Community Partner Award

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Department of Corrections Deputy Director Michael McCall (left) presents the
Judge Bill Byars Community Partner Award to MTC Director of Counseling and Career Services.

Dr. Phil Morris, Midlands Technical College’s (MTC) Director of Counseling and Career Services, received the Judge Bill Byars Community Partner Award from the South Carolina Department of Corrections’ (DOC) Division of Young Offender Parole and Reentry Services. The DOC presents this award to individuals who collaborate with them to facilitate the reentry of incarcerated individuals into becoming productive membership in the community.

Over the past five years, Morris has worked with young offenders from the criminal justice system, helping them understand the value of education and training. He assisted them in applying for college and delivered career counseling to them throughout their academic years.

“Dr. Morris provided unconditional support for our clients, their families and the community since the beginning stages of our division,” said Intensive Supervision Officer Robert Gibson. “He has demonstrated a passion for rebuilding people’s lives ­- people who are in need of a second chance.”

In addition to helping young clients in the young offender program, Morris also arranged for Department of Corrections Intensive Supervision Officers to attend training on identifying  employment opportunities for those with convictions. 

“His influence on our division extends far beyond just helping offenders,” said Gibson. “He is a servant leader who has never said ‘no’ to assisting the Department of Corrections in the area of restorative practices in the Midlands.”

Morris said finding the value of education is something that can make all the difference in the life of a young person who has left incarceration and is looking to turn a new page in life. Some of the students Morris encouraged to enroll in college have risen to become part of Midlands Technical College’s African American Male Leadership Institute, a student leadership organization committed to developing leadership potential and promoting academic success to males.

“Education and skills training are essential to being able to provide for yourself and your family in today’s world,” said Morris. “It is in everyone’s best interest to give these young people a chance to become responsible, contributing members of society. The alternative is not good for anyone.”

Morris has more than 20 years of experience in professional counseling.  He has been MTC Director of Counseling and Career Services since 2005.