Harold Watson: Exceptional

Harold Watson, executive director of Programs for Exceptional PeopleHarold Watson, executive director of Programs for Exceptional People, has a difficult time talking about himself. He briefly mentions his prolific 30-year background with non-profits and church ministries before he changes the subject to his No. 1 cause. “I find a great deal of fulfillment in working with adults with intellectual and mental challenges,” he says of his work with PEP.

Founded 15 years ago by a small group of parents of disabled adult children, PEP provides a place where special-needs adults can take classes, participate in community programs and socialize with peers. “Members have goals to help increase their independence, whether it be at home or in the community,” he says.

Watson is especially excited about the organization’s pottery program, which was established as part of a seed grant from the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry. Through the program, PEP members have learned to become potters, designing bowls and plates that are on sale at the facility and throughout the Lowcountry. “They create something that’s not only beneficial, but also has an employment value for them,” Watson says.

“These people aren’t so different from you and me,” Watson says. “We all want and deserve opportunities in our life. What I dream — and what PEP delivers — is living a life of quality, dignity, choices and inclusion.”

For more information about PEP, go to www.pephhi.org