Forrest Alton

Pura Vida

I’ve been very fortunate in my life that for one reason or another – business meetings, sporting events, pleasure – I’ve traveled a great deal. I’m also fortunate that I have a life partner who also enjoys traveling. Heather and I have seen an awful lot together, and no matter where we travel or what the reason for the travel is, we always try to learn something new. A language, a tradition, a piece of history, something – especially when traveling abroad.

This time it’s Heather’s work that has taken us out of the country. She is teaching a study abroad course in Costa Rica right now, officially “Global USC in Costa Rica.” Of course, I had to join her for a few days.

Among other things, we have learned that Costa Rica’s official national motto is “Pura Vida.” The phrase translates literally to pure life, with other common iterations like full of life, or this is living! But, Costa Rica’s motto is better translated in action than in words. The locals don’t seem to stress about anything. Life is laid back, carefree, and most importantly optimistic. Pura vida means being thankful for what you have and not dwelling on the negative.

Caught in a torrential downpour walking to dinner? Pura vida.

Locked yourself out of the apartment? Pura vida.

Stuck on a bus with no air conditioning for four hours? Pura vida.

Can’t get the Internet to work and missed an important work email? Pura vida.

At some point we’ll return back to the hustle, bustle, and high stress of our jobs in the United States. I can only hope we are able sneak a little Pura vida through customs! We certainly could use a little in our lives long past our time here in Costa Rica.

Most likely, so could you. 

Forrest Alton Elected to My Carolina Board of Governors

My Carolina Alumni Association has elected Forrest L. Alton to its Board of Governors. Alton represents the second congressional district of Columbia, South Carolina.

The board of governors is the governing body of the University of South Carolina’s alumni association, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization established in 1846. The board promotes fellowship among the university’s graduates, establishes policies, provides strategic direction and holds fiduciary responsibility for the assets of My Carolina.

"Any success I have had in my career is due in large part to the education, networks, friends, and colleagues I gained during my time at the University of South Carolina,” Alton said. “I see this appointment to My Carolina’s Board of Governors as an opportunity to 'pay it forward' and give back to the University and its alumni that have done so much for me.”

Alton has been involved in public health and youth development efforts for more than 15 years. In 2007, he became the chief executive officer of the SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, a position he held for nearly 10 years. Under Alton’s leadership the organization saw substantial growth. Forrest recently launched a consulting firm, 1000 Feathers, which works helps nonprofits, philanthropists and social service organizations have greater impact in the communities they serve.

In 2010, Alton was recognized by The State newspaper as one of South Carolina’s “20-under-40 emerging leaders.”  In 2014, he was recognized by The Free Times as one of the “50 Most Influential People in Columbia.”  He is a Riley Institute Diversity Fellow, a Liberty Fellow and part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Alton earned his master of public health from the university’s Arnold School of Public Health. In 2011, the school named him its Alumnus of the Year. He earned his bachelor of science from Coastal Carolina University, where he also was named a Distinguished Alumnus.

About My Carolina
My Carolina Alumni Association’s mission is to build a thriving community of actively engaged and connected alumni, students, faculty and supporters who give themselves in service to the university while carrying the Carolina tradition and spirit worldwide. For more information about My Carolina Alumni Association, visit www.MyCarolina.org.

President Forrest Alton Featured in Tulsa World

During a recent visit to Tulsa, OK to work with the Tulsa Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, our President Forrest Alton had the opportunity to sit down with a reporter from Tulsa World to discuss progress made in South Carolina and what Tulsa can do to better address teen pregnancy. Several things he made very clear: 1) the solutions are in the community and 2) teen pregnancy prevention is not a moral issue; it's a public health issue. 

Read the full article here.

President Forrest Alton Appears on the Giving Connection

Our President Forrest Alton recently sat down with the Waco Foundation in Waco, Texas to give expert commentary on teen pregnancy prevention efforts across the country, specifically what he helped to accomplish in South Carolina through his role as CEO of the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. The full broadcast can be found below.