Board Member Spotlight: Janelle Keith

A little background…. I was born and raised in Eastern PA. My Dad traveled most of his adult life all over the United States and always had a stories, experiences, and travel knowledge to share with us. I believe this is where I grew a love for travel, meeting people, and seeing cultural and geographic differences. I moved to Orangeburg, SC, in 2003 from Pittsburgh, PA. I have one daughter, 23 who resides in Washington, DC, and works as a Global Event Planner. In 2008, I was fortunate enough to travel to Liberia, Africa with seven others and be involved in activities with orphans, and women, as well as minister in the community in various capacities. Having crossed paths with the son of the President of Liberia at the time, Ellen Sirleaf, our team was personally escorted to visit the president and have a Liberian meal with her. It was truly a beautiful experience.    

In my spare time, you will most likely find me at the beach, the market, trying out a new restaurant, a music event, traveling to a new place, walking (my new favorite pastime since COVID), watching foreign films, spending quality time with friends and family, or volunteering somewhere. Much of my volunteering is in Columbia, Charleston, and Orangeburg areas, at local theaters, museums, historic societies, Food and Wine Festivals, and Charleston Fashion Week. I also served on the Columbia Council for Internationals (CCFI) as a Board Member for the past two years and Chairman of the Nominating Committee and Arrivals Committee. While all rewarding, my favorite thing has been to assist in student arrival pickups. These students are always so lovely and eager to learn more about Columbia. It’s a real privilege to be their first greet into our city and assist with getting them safely to their destination.          

Recent endeavors include completing Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification in 2022. Since then, I have taught in-person classes, conversational tutoring, and online classes to adults. I also traveled to Italy in March of this year for ten days. A future endeavor of mine is to learn the Spanish language fluently and take horse riding lessons.

Janelle Keith

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