Here at the South Carolina State Fair, we know that supporting the youth of South Carolina means strengthening the future of our state at large. This is why we are so dedicated to supporting statewide education. Through the Ride of Your Life Scholarship program, the S.C. State Fair has awarded more than $4 million in scholarships to deserving students across the state. This year, 51 South Carolina High School graduates were awarded $10,000 to use to further their education. One of those scholarships was possible because of Circle K stores generous contribution to the Ride of Your Life Scholarship Program.
Here are three of our scholarship recipients:
Drew Madden is a student from Blythewood High School who will be attending the University of South Carolina in the fall to study business.
Drew knew that he wanted to attend USC after touring towards the end of his junior year because of how much he liked the campus, and the outstanding business program. In high school, Drew was the captain of his school’s golf team which he says taught him leadership skills and how to work well with a team. He was also a part of community service projects in high school such as the Pay it Forward Club which organized food drives, and a mentorship program called Bengal Buddies where he gave guidance to local elementary school students.
“We each had a mentee that we spent an hour a week with and that really helped me be a better leader and learn how to help the youth,” Madden said.
Drew says that he is appreciative of the Ride of Your Life Scholarship because he says it feels like a reward for all the community service he’s done. He says that he always looked at the fair as a place that has rides and food but didn’t know about the scholarship opportunities until his guidance counselor sent out the Ride of Your Life application.
Once Drew arrives at USC, he is most excited about meeting new people.
Brandon Jamison is a student from Gray Collegiate Academy who will be attending the University of South Carolina in the fall to study pharmaceutical science with the goal of becoming a pharmacist. In high school, he was a part of the National Honor Society, the varsity basketball team, and the cross-country team.
His high school basketball coach, Dion Bethea, says that Brandon is a winner on and off the court which is why he is deserving of the Ride of Your Life Scholarship. One of the things Brandon is most excited about once getting to USC is joining sports clubs and playing intramural sports.
Apart from sports, Brandon also takes his education very seriously. Brandon’s mom, Thanlia Jamison says while Brandon was at Gray Collegiate Academy, he took about 46 credit hours in dual enrollment. This means that Brandon will start USC with some challenging higher-level classes.
“We are proud that he has the intelligence, he has the will, and he has that know-how and never gives up,” Thanlia Jamison said.
Brandon was excited to receive the Ride of Your Life Scholarship because he says that he’s been coming to the fair all his life as a birthday tradition, since he has an October birthday.
Rucker Brannon is a student from Hammond High School who will be attending Wofford College in the fall to study finance. Rucker knew that he wanted to attend Wofford after visiting his brother who also attends Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC.
“When I saw the campus, I immediately fell in love and knew that it was the place that I wanted to be,” Brannon said.
He says that the small and dense scholastic atmosphere is important to him, and he’s looking forward to forming relationships with those around him once at Wofford. He also says that it was important for him to go to a college that was not too far from his hometown of Columbia, since he’s been here all his life and he wants to stay close to home to avoid getting homesick.
In high school, he played baseball and football, and spent the end of his senior year preparing for his high school baseball team’s state championship. Rucker says that although he’s fortunate enough to have his parents help pay for his college education, every penny counts, and it was a no-brainer to apply for the Ride of Your Life Scholarship because of the easily accessible application.
For a full list of all 51 Ride of Your Life Scholarship Recipients, visit: https://www.scstatefair.org/scholarships/2023-scholarship-recipients/.