Teach for America South Carolina 2013
Representative, South Carolina House of Representatives District 77
Attorney, McGowan, Hood, Felder, and Phillips, LLC
Teach For America South Carolina 2014
Violence Against Women Act Program Coordinator, South Carolina Attorney General’s Office
At age 26, Kambrell Garvin was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives while still in law school.
“Despite having little money and few political connections, and running against a 20-year incumbent, I ran for office because my community deserved a strong voice championing issues of importance,” he said.
“I want to be that voice in the legislature who is advancing educational excellence and equity for all students,” he added. “Our kids deserve more than a minimally adequate education.”
An alumnus of Teach For America South Carolina (TFASC), Kambrell Garvin’s prior experience as a sixth-grade science teacher at Colleton County Middle School influences his policies and brings a unique perspective to his community and state.
He is focused, in part, on solving the state’s teacher shortage and retention issues and expanding opportunities for all students. During the past legislative session, Kambrell Garvin worked in the General Assembly to push for a budget that improves the state’s education system – increasing the base student cost and annual teacher salary, investing in rural school infrastructure and full-time nurses and resource officers in each school, expanding full-day 4K early childhood education, and offering tuition-free higher education for children of educators.
“We will continue to have problems until we solve South Carolina’s teacher shortage crisis,” he concluded. “We must value our teachers and meet our students where they are.”
His wife, Monique Garvin, is also an alumna of TFASC. She shares her husband’s drive to be a voice for those most in need of an advocate in their pursuit of justice and a future filled with possibility.
When reflecting on her experience as a math teacher, Monique Garvin said, “My students’ home environments were often of concern, such as hunger and safety issues. I want to make the home lives better for our children, especially in rural communities.”
This teaching experience motivated her to serve as the Violence Against Women Act Program Coordinator in the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office after earning two master’s degrees in 2019. In this role, Monique Garvin trains law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, and victim advocates across the state about the causes, consequences, and laws pertaining to domestic violence and sexual assault.
“I’m still teaching in a different capacity,” she said.
Moving forward, Monique Garvin’s hope for the state and nation is that the mental health of students and teachers are prioritized, and as one outcome, schools will transform the way that consequences are provided to students.
She added, “Kambrell and I will always be advocates for our students and teachers.”