Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) honored 16 Lowcountry students Monday — most had excelled academically, but each had a different story about overcoming behavioral problems, learning disabilities or a tragedy, like the loss of a loved one.
More than 50 students, family members, teachers and administrators attended the ceremony at Charleston Southern University as Scott awarded each student with his Courage in Achieving Personal Success Award (CAPS).
The congressman told them about his own difficult childhood as the son of a single mother and a troubled student at Stall High School.
"I started out on the wrong foot," he said. "I was flunking out. I failed world geography, I failed civics, I failed Spanish and I failed English. But I had a mentor and teachers who came along at the right time and invested in me. They decided they found something in me that I couldn't find in myself and my life changed drastically."
Scott said he created the award to recognize students for what they have accomplished. "So often, so few people get to hear the stories of what men and women have to overcome as boys and girls to see not just their success, but their significance," he said.
Lowcountry CAPS Recipients
- Aasima Walker –Ashley Ridge High School
- Saquia McNeil – Berkeley Middle College High School
- Matthew Corbett – Bishop England High School
- Jarrod Harrison – Cane Bay High School
- Deja Dickerson – Capers Preparatory School
- Tanya Cantu –Charleston Collegiate School
- David Bucci – Dorchester Academy
- Amber Heyward – Fort Dorchester High School
- Zachary Staires – Goose Creek High School
- Malcolm B. Harrison – North Charleston High School
- Clay Carson Bryant – Northside Christian School
- Carolyn Faye Walters – Palmetto Christian Academy
- Charris Nicole Dolecki – R.B. Stall High School
- Brandon Cantrell – Stratford High School
- Dino Lee Schaefer – Summerville High School
- Marcus Williams – West Ashley High School
Scott also recognized Sam Gutshall of Bishop England High School. Gutshall won South Carolina's Poetry Out Loud competition — a challenge for students to perform great works of poetry.
Gutshall received $200 and a trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the national finals. Bishop England will also receive $500 to purchase poetry books for its library.