Students earn millions in scholarships

By  | 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
(News 12 This Morning)

EDGEFIELD, SC (WRDW/WGAT)-- Students at Strom Thurmond High School are racking in the big bucks. Students at the high school have earned 6.1 million dollars in scholarships this year, which is almost two million dollars more than last year's class.

The director of guidance at Strom Thurmond says this comes as no surprise because; this year's class has always been competitive.

However, senior, Thomas McCain is still in awe, “The first thing that I did when I found out that I got it was drop down to my knees and said thank you Lord that I got the scholarship,” says McCain.

McCain is one of many to receive an outstanding amount of money in scholarships. Avion Mahoney also received thousands of dollars in scholarships and is one of the first students in South Carolina to receive the Hagan Scholarship.

She explains that it wasn’t easy; it took a lot of hard work.

“I applied to so many I might’ve only gotten I might apply to like 30 scholarships that I had to write essays for and I actually only got like three but, those three added up to $650,000 so I probably put in I can’t even tell you how many hours at school at home staying up late,” says Mahoney.

However, the director of guidance, Landon Booker says everyone at the school worked together to help their students to receive these scholarships.

Booker explains, “I write letters of recommendation, the other counselors write letters of recommendation, teachers write letters of recommendation, it’s very much a team effort. It’s not just me; it’s the students, it’s the teachers, it’s the administrators, it’s everyone.“ He says he also, utilizes an app and sends the students a text message as soon as a new scholarship application comes across his desk.

Strom Thurmond is a Title I school and many of the families at Strom Thurmond are of low socioeconomic status. Booker says these scholarships make their students dreams a reality, “The scholarships are very important to students in this community because it helps them go to college and a lot of them can graduate without student loans or debt-free.”

So many students, so many different paths but, McCain says none of this would be possible without the help of the staff at Strom Thurmond.

“Teachers here and the staff are on you all of the time if you don’t turn anything in. They'll be like 'hey, so and so you didn’t turn this in'. They’re on you and they watch you; they would just won’t let you slip by. They’ll take care of you,” says McCain.