BCSD students share stories of perseverance at Turnaround Achievement Awards Ceremony
Published Friday, April 20, 2018
Timberland High School's Machela Mullins becomes emotional at Thursday's Turnaround Achievement Awards Ceremony after speaking the audience and receiving a standing ovation. (BCSD photo)
Thirty Berkeley County School District students were honored Thursday during a special ceremony at Westview Middle School in Goose Creek. They were recognized for making positive and lasting changes in their lives.
Every student at the 21st Annual Turnaround Achievement Awards Ceremony had a story of overcoming obstacles in life to improve performance in school. Some of those students took the microphone and shared more personal versions of their journey. Tears, laughter and applause were visible in the audience as those students thanked the people in their lives responsible for helping them succeed and never giving up. VIEW PHOTOS
“Sometimes you gotta get through things and achieve your goals,” Timberland High School's Machela Mullins said. “You have to keep fighting, no matter what, even if your own family is not around.”
Machela received a standing ovation from the audience after she spoke passionately about her progress to become a better student. She came to Timberland after being picked up and processed by law enforcement as a runaway multiple times. She was placed in foster care due to circumstances out of her control in the summer of 2017. She then spent time at several group homes and DJJ before making her way to a new foster home in St. Stephen. Machela now works as a mentor to other students at the school.
Machela did not share deeper details of her story, but she admitted she had shared information with her supporters at Timberland that she hadn’t shared with anyone else.
“My story is very personal,” she said as she began to cry and speak to those in attendance at the ceremony. “I shared things that I didn’t even share with my own friends or family.”
A common theme among students deciding to take the microphone and speak to those in attendance was a show of appreciation for teachers, administrators and mentors that never gave up on them.
The Turnaround program began 21-years-ago with a partnership between school districts and Royal Z Bowling Lanes. After Royal Z ended the sponsorship three years later, some school districts stopped holding a Turnaround ceremony.
Passionate principals at BCSD schools decided the program would continue and began to set aside funds from their school budgets.
“Thanks to the strong leadership from our group of principals, past and present, we’re able to continue this program and acknowledge our students that have chosen to make a difference in their lives,” said BCSD Senior Associate Superintendent Deon Jackson.
2018 Turnaround award recipients
Cainhoy Elementary Jaiden Anderson
Cane Bay Elementary Bryce Boone
Marrington Elementary Jaymee Waltz
St. Stephen Elementary Ashton Moultrie
Westview Elementary Josh Flanders
Whitesville Elementary Destinee Gourdine
Whitesville Elementary Adriana Rogers
Berkeley Middle Queen Mouzon
Berkeley Middle Damarion Simmons
Cane Bay Middle Konner Marinovich
Cane Bay Middle Waylon Seaton
College Park Middle Kayla Pye
Daniel Island School Jack Altenbach
Daniel Island School Alyssa Tribolet
Hanahan Middle Cooper Alexander
Macedonia Middle Brandon Miklosi
Marrington Middle School of the Arts Demetri Simmons
Philip Simmons Middle Danearis Washington
Sangaree Middle Marcus Williams
St. Stephen Middle Demetruis Willis
Sedgefield Middle JaSaundra Baylock
Westview Middle Alayna Blair
Berkeley High Megan Rolader
Cane Bay High Kayla Lawrence
Cane Bay High Benjamin Ciezadlo
Cross High Chamanik Johnson
Goose Creek High Codrick Bass
Hanahan High Ashton Lawrence
Stratford High Tyler Frost
Timberland High Machela Mullins