By Michael Sosnowski for The Island Connection
On the morning of May 17, Johns Island’s Andre Coaxum walked across the stage under the oaks at Charleston Collegiate School to receive his diploma after seven outstanding years as a natural student leader at the school. Next fall, Andre will be the first in his family to go to college, having been accepted to UNC Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship. Andre’s is a true Johns Island success story.
The Student Body President of Charleston Collegiate and the Salutatorian of an impressive senior class, with students accepted at UVA, Wake Forest, Tulane, Temple, Univ. of Colorado Boulder, UGA, USC and Clemson, Andre was also chosen by his peers and teachers to be the 2014 Honor Graduate, one of the school’s highest honors, which carries with it the responsibility of delivering the senior speech at graduation.
Andre arrived at CCS as a 6th grader, after Sunshine Math tutors and Kiawah residents Pete Trees, Dick Murphy, Larry Iwan, Steve Sager and Roger Ackerman noticed tremendous potential in the young boy during advanced math sessions after school at Mt. Zion Elementary.
These gentlemen brought Andre to CCS and helped sponsor his first year at the school. His education from that point on was provided for through generous local donations to the school’s John Thompson Collegiate Scholars Fund, a fund with a growing donor base that now supports the education of over 35 students at the PreK-12 college prep school.
Andre is a true role model and inspiration for the next generation of students, and a great representative all of the great people (teachers, donors, mentors) on our island that made his story possible. It is this kind of neighborly support that will have the power to make our island stronger via our best resource, our children. Talk about the investment of a lifetime.