An Affordable Housing tenant in Clemson has been given a first of its kind award from the federal government. During a U-S Housing and Urban Development event in Columbia, the “Self Suffiency Award” was presented to Creekwood Village Apartments resident “Val.” She was accompanied by Pam Broome, resident service coordinator at Creekwood Village. Broome brought Val’s story to the attention of HUD. Val lives in a Section 8 property that, in recent months, became the first Pickens County property involved in Oconee County’s Ripple of One program that works to move families from government assistance. In 2011, she enrolled in GED classes with the help of a mentor and passed the test with the highest score in her class. She has since enrolled in classes at Tri-County Technical College and volunteers 10 to 15 hours a week at a medical office to learn practical experience. All of this while going to school, managing her home, and rearing a teenager.