Local students win art scholarships from national nonprofit StriveTogether

Artwork by Camille Richmond

Winning artwork reflects equity, educational opportunity

North Charleston, SC – Two students in the tri-county region were named recipients of the Art Inspires scholarship by StriveTogether, a national nonprofit working to improve education for every child. Students in nearly 70 communities across the county were asked to create pieces of art that reflect StriveTogether’s vision and core values, including educational equity.

Only students in a community served by a partnership in the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network were eligible to apply. Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative (TCCC), which serves Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties, is a StriveTogether partnership.

Lauren DeMarco and Camille Richmond are two Charleston-area student artists among five total awardees chosen nationwide. The scholarship winners each will receive a $1,000 college scholarship and have their work displayed at StriveTogether’s Cincinnati headquarters.

“As the cost of higher education continues to increase, paying for college has financially strained many of our students. Opportunities, like the Art Inspires scholarship, to help cover those costs are more important than ever,” TCCC CEO John C. Read said. “We, at TCCC, are proud of these talented artists from our very own community and congratulate them on their exceptional work.”

Lauren DeMarco, who graduated from Academic Magnet High School in North Charleston, is attending Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., where she plans to major in English and visual art. As an aspiring magazine writer and editor, DeMarco spends her time tutoring and mentoring low-income students, and she hopes to one day create a magazine for girls that encourages their academic ability and promotes their achievements. DeMarco’s winning art piece depicts a student climbing a staircase, representing the overall educational journey to which every child should have the right.

Camille Richmond, who plans to major in international business and economics at the University of South Carolina, just graduated from the Charleston County School of the Arts. Throughout high school, Richmond volunteered with the local community center, the Felix Pinckney Community Center, where she tutored first-graders and learned valuable lessons about the importance of providing early educational opportunities to decrease the achievement gap in the education system.

“My community has been the leading driving force encouraging me to want to give back,” Richmond said. “My eyes were opened to the many obstacles facing low-income, working parents, one of which is finding safe, reliable and affordable child care. As children need to be educated and encouraged to aim high from the very beginning, early education programs can decrease the achievement gap in our public education system.”

Richmond’s artistic display of this ongoing effort is just one of many ways StriveTogether seeks to garner support and awareness of this important cause.

“StriveTogether commends these young artists who were so keenly able to depict our realities and societal goals with their artistic vision and talent,” said StriveTogether President and CEO Jennifer Blatz. “With this scholarship, StriveTogether hopes to encourage these students as they pursue higher education to continue to be creative and express their own views, especially through their art.”

About StriveTogether

StriveTogether leads a national movement of nearly 70 communities to get better results in every child’s life. We coach and connect partners across the country to close gaps by using local data, especially for children of color and low-income children. Communities using our proven approach have seen measurable gains in kindergarten readiness, academic achievement and postsecondary success. The StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network reaches 10.4 million students, involves 10,800 organizations and has partners in 30 states and Washington, D.C.

About the Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative

The Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative (TCCC) is a community-wide movement in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties, South Carolina, focused on improving the quality of life of its citizens and its workforce through education. Using data and focused community collaboration across a continuum from “cradle-to-career,” TCCC serves as a catalyst for widespread, systemic change, with the ultimate goal of increased success and economic prosperity for all.

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