Berkeley Middle College grads thankful for opportunities, event at Whitesville Elementary
Published Wednesday, May 30, 2018
“Tough” -- it’s the word several Berkeley Middle College graduates used to describe their senior year of high school. Though it came with difficulty, they all also agreed the reward was worth the sacrifice.
Berkeley Middle College is unlike any other high school in Berkeley County.
Students cut ties with their original high schools and trade the traditional high school experience for one with a goal of providing a contemporary academic pathway to college credit or a degree. It’s that sacrifice that made Wednesday’s grad walk at Whitesville Elementary meaningful for the BMC graduates who in several cases had never before set a foot in the school.
Kurt Walker left Stratford High School two years ago for the opportunities provided by BMC. He’ll be pursuing a 4-year degree from the University of South Carolina after first obtaining an Associate Degree in Science from the BMC-Trident Tech partnership.
Pride, confusion, nervousness and gratitude are among emotions Kurt’s felt in recent days.
“You don’t really understand it until it’s here,” he said of high school and graduation.
“I’m thankful for Mrs. Scoggins and Mrs. Freeman for having the Berkeley Middle College and leading that program that can lead us to succeed. …I’m thankful for the teachers that invested in us and taught us and mentored us and helped us get where we are today,” Kurt said.
Grace Campbell also came to BMC from Stratford. She described her senior year at BMC as a challenge worth facing.
“You’re in your first college class with people that are much older than you, and maybe even as old as your parents,” she said. “It teaches you responsibility, I think.”
Amber Nobles will graduate as BMC’s valedictorian this week. She left a social circle at Timberland High School behind as she chased 70 credit hours that she will take to a 4-year institution.
“It’s definitely a challenge. …I’m very proud and happy to be where I am today,” she said.
As she reflected on her senior year of high school, Amber was thankful for administrators at BMC for helping her stay on track. She was also appreciative of the event at Whitesville Elementary.
“I’ve never really been in anything like this before. It was really fun. All the little guys, they were so excited. I loved it,” Amber said.
She hopes other elementary schools will begin to host similar events for graduates and believes it encourages the younger students to “be there one day.”
BMC accepts roughly 50 students per year, and those applicants are selected through a lottery process. The student body for the 2018-2019 school year has already been selected.
For more information on the application and lottery process of Berkeley Middle College, CLICK HERE.