Written By Maggie White
Photo By Kelly Duncan, The Newberry Observer
While a lot of people say they would do anything to make their dreams come true, not everyone means it. But one man did… Corporal Stephen Selestino. Growing up in the small town of Lockhart, Texas, Stephen was surrounded by Hill Country, shade covered rivers, good food, and football. So how did this Texas Longhorns fan become a Clemson Tigers fan?
In the early part of 2000, Stephen was drawn to the Carolinas. After moving over 1,200 miles from home, Stephen began the journey to live out his childhood dream. With the help of Robbie Benson, he was accepted to the South Carolina Police Academy in 2006. Stephen says, “I cannot begin to describe the incredible moment when I walked across the stage in Columbia in May 2006 to receive that certification. God had blessed me with my boyhood dream of being a police officer.”
In 2013, Stephen was told about a small town he had never heard of that was hiring police officers. After getting a tour of the area, Stephen applied to the Prosperity Police Department. Not long after, he got the call.
During Stephen’s career, he has assisted his fellow officers and the community in any way he can. Being bilingual, he has assisted with translating critical information from Spanish-speaking victims and his fellow officers. He has delivered meals around the community from the mobile food pantry and supported local schools by providing meals to their staff.
Due to his battle with COVID-19, the community was given a chance to pay him back for all he has done. After a hard battle with the virus, he decided to share his story. During the time of his recovery, he wrote a book about his journey from Texas to South Carolina and his relationship with God. Stephen is back at work and serving his community again.
A message from Stephen: “When I came to South Carolina, I felt that I had made a big mistake. A mistake in following someone over the internet. I was ignorant of the calling of God in my life. Even with that mistake, I found my church family. God has taken my mistake and turned it into many blessings. Through everyone in South Carolina that God placed in my life, there has been reminder after reminder of the goodness, kindness, grace, and mercy of God. At every turn, there has been blessing after blessing through your kind words and sacrifice. I have no regrets in saying that I love Prosperity, South Carolina. I enjoy what I do, and I hope that I never become arrogant, insensitive, or unappreciative to my community, my colleagues, my brothers and sisters of the thin blue line and to everyone that has given so much. Texas will always be carved into the