Clyburn Political Fellows Kick Off 2017 Program

Clyburn Political Fellows Kick Off 2017 Program

Over 50 passionate Democrats from across South Carolina gathered last weekend for the launch of the second annual SCDP Clyburn Political Fellowship. The program is named for Representative James Clyburn (D-SC 6), Assistant Democratic Leader in the U.S. House of Representatives and third ranking member of the Democratic leadership in Washington.

Horry County is represented by two Fellows in the 2017 class: HCDP 3rd Vice Chair Tess Emiroglu, and global politics/national security expert Scott Firsing, who shared some of his impressions of this first session in a short interview.

How did the weekend get started?

“SCDP Chair Jaime Harrison welcomed our very diverse group of individuals by Skype from Houston, Texas where he was campaigning for the position of Democratic National Committee Chair. Jaime quickly conveyed his sense of excitement and encouragement, which definitely got the group’s blood and discussions flowing. The rest of the jam-packed weekend was full of almost nonstop debate, discussion and learning.”

What types of topics did the group discuss over the two days?

“Issues of morality and leadership were discussed early on, then shifted quickly to blunt, ‘real talk’ about local, state and national politics. The group was privileged to hear stories and learn lessons from a wide range of extremely knowledgeable individuals including county and state party leaders, former DNC Chair Dr. Don Fowler and others. The amount of pertinent information was continuous, and when we departed on Sunday afternoon, I still wanted more.”

What were the most memorable moments of the opening weekend?

“Two items will likely stick out when I look back at this opening weekend. The first was the honor of meeting Congressman James Clyburn. He spoke of his personal story, and shared multiple words of wisdom. The second was being in a room full of like-minded, passionate people who share a love of their community, state and country. We all have different stories and political aspirations, but it’s clear by listening and seeing the look in the Clyburn Fellows’ eyes that we all share similar American values and have a mutual goal of making a difference in people’s lives. I don’t know what’s in store for the rest of the 2017 Fellowship. However, I already know this Fellowship is crucial in helping us reach our goals and dreams.”


The SCDP James E. Clyburn Political Fellowship offers leadership, policy, and campaign training to a select group of young professionals from each county in South Carolina. The Clyburn Fellowship was created to develop and train the next generation of Democratic leaders.

Appearing in the above photo with Rep. Clyburn are Carlton Boyd (left) and Avery Martin.  Photo by Scott Firsing.

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