The Coastal Community Foundation has announced the second set of scholarship recipients of the Reverend Pinckney Scholars Program, established at the foundation in memory of the late Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney and in response to the June 17, 2015 massacre at Emanuel AME Church.
“Furthering your education was always important to Clementa. He valued it and felt it should not be taken for granted,” said Jennifer Pinckney, widow of Rev. Pinckney. “I know that he is smiling down as he sees all of the Pinckney Scholars moving forward in life to improve upon themselves and strive to make a better future. This year’s group of scholars are amazing.”
The four-year renewable scholarship program, which is dedicated to promoting access to higher education for African-American students, will benefit 11 Class of 2017 scholars from Beaufort, Charleston and Jasper counties who will receive a total of approximately $80,000 for each of their four years of college, in addition to supportive resources (professional development and networking opportunities) through the foundation during their college career.
“Our Class of 2017 Pinckney Scholars embody an impressive variety of intellectual interests and life experiences,” said author, historian, and Harvard professor Dr. Henry Louis Gates. “What unites them, though, is their passion for learning, and the use of education to effect positive social change in their communities. These students are destined for greatness, and I am honored to be part of the committee that has the privilege of selecting them.”
The class of 2017 Reverend Pinckney Scholars from the local area include:
• Davontay Dopson, Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School (Newberry College)
• Ambriance Lamar, Whale Branch Early College High School (Converse College)
• Briona Millidge, Whale Branch Early College High School (Winthrop University)
• Shawna Wright, Whale Branch Early College High School (Winthrop University)
Scholars are eligible to renew their award each year by maintaining good standing in the program, with an expected total award of $320,000 to the Class of 2017 over their four years of college.
The program — now in its second year — is supporting 21 students in total with a dollar amount of nearly $160,000 being awarded in the 2017-2018 academic year.
“This program gives promising students an opportunity to attend their first-choice schools,” said Darrin Goss Sr., president and CEO of Coastal Community Foundation. “Feeling a sense of belonging in the place where one studies is a key ingredient to academic, social and civic engagement so this difference is integral to student achievement.”
Programming for new scholars will begin this summer with an initial orientation session on July 15 covering topics pertaining to the college transition, such as time management and on-campus resources.
All Pinckney Scholars (Class of 2016 and Class of 2017) will attend a luncheon and professional development session with former U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Dr. James A. Joseph.
Each scholar and a guest will be invited to attend the Coastal Community Foundation’s annual gala celebration that evening where Joseph is scheduled to give the keynote speech.
About the program
On July 2, 2015, a group of anonymous donors, moved by the tragic murders at Mother Emanuel AME Church and Charleston’s remarkable response to the shooting, created a $3.2 million scholarship fund in honor of the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney.
In March 2016, Coastal Community Foundation began to administer the scholarship fund and its companion program, the Reverend Pinckney Scholars Program.
About Coastal Community Foundation
Coastal Community Foundation empowers individuals, families and organizations to make a lasting impact through permanent, endowed funds for charitable giving. The Foundation serves Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry and Jasper counties.
To learn more, visit www.coastalcommunityfoundation.org or call 843- 723-3635.