Amari Manigault

Amari Manigault

Coastal Community Foundation (CCF) today announced the third cohort of scholarship recipients of the Reverend Pinckney Scholars Program, established at the Foundation in memory of the late Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney and in response to the June 17, 2015 massacre at Charleston’s Emanuel A.M.E. Church. 

CCF also announced that several of the original anonymous donors to the program had contributed an additional $3 million to increase dramatically the scope of the program.

“Furthering your education was always important to Clementa. He valued it and felt it should not be taken for granted,” says Jennifer Pinckney, widow of Reverend Pinckney. “I know that he is smiling down as he sees all of the Pinckney Scholars moving forward in life to improve upon themselves and strive to make a better future.”

The program will now include three key components: 1) scholarships for higher education; 2) college counseling; and, 3) career development.

The four-year renewable scholarship program, which is dedicated to promoting access to higher education for African American students, will benefit nine Class of 2018 scholars from Beaufort, Charleston and Jasper counties who will receive up to $10,000 for each of their four years of college, in addition to supportive resources (professional development and networking opportunities) through the Foundation during their college career.

“It’s a great honor to be a part of this program to commemorate Reverend Pinckney and his wonderful legacy,” says former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley. “And it’s thrilling to meet this most remarkable group of young people. It’s special and inspiring.”

The first two classes of scholars (a total of 21 students) are thriving at 18 colleges and universities. CCF is happy to report that all scholars remain enrolled and their cumulative grade point average is 3.68. In addition, their list of accomplishments to date is lengthy and impressive. (See attached list.)

Applicants are selected based on three main criteria: academic performance, substantial financial need and leadership potential.


Amari Manigault, Wando High School

(George Washington University)

Amari Manigault, an athlete, scholar, and active church goer, will soon graduate from Wando High School to attend George Washington University in Washington, D.C. to study chemistry. Long term, Amari hopes to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy and “help treat diseases that ravage less developed countries around the world.” Amari will graduate a Charleston County School District Board Scholar and with an AP Diploma with Distinction. She is a member of the Wando AP Academy, the National Beta Club, and serves as the Vice President of the Health Occupations for Students of Americas Club. Amari placed second in the state for high jump as Captain of the Wando High School Girls Track team and played for both the junior varsity and varsity volleyball team of her school. Amari is well on her way to achieving her goals, and according to those who know her, she has already demonstrated the humility, compassion, and determination that she will use along the way.

Others include:

Kira Adkins, Academic Magnet High School

(Medical University of South Carolina School of Pharmacy)

Ajani Brooks, Valedictorian, Baptist Hill High School

(South Carolina State University)

Jasmyne Franks, Beaufort High School

(Clemson University)

Armani Gibbs, Battery Creek High School

(Coastal Carolina University)

Angel Jackson, Salutatorian, Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School

(South Carolina State University)

Jerry Manigault, Academic Magnet High School

(Clemson University Bridge Program)

Joshua Staple, Bluffton High School

(University of South Carolina)

Ty’Celia Young, Salutatorian, Gordon H. Garrett Academy of Technology

(Clemson University)


Scholars are eligible to renew their award each year by maintaining good standing in the program, with an expected total award of approximately $360,000 to the Class of 2018 over their four years of college. The program—now in its third year—is supporting 30 students in total with a dollar amount of nearly $240,000 being awarded in the 2018-2019 academic year across the three cohorts.

“This program gives promising students an opportunity to attend their school of choice,” says Darrin Goss, Sr., President and CEO of Coastal Community Foundation. “Feeling a sense of belonging in the place where one studies is a key ingredient to academic, social, and civic engagement, which is integral to student achievement.”

CCF has identified a need to reach students earlier in their high school years and a need to provide them with more opportunities during their undergraduate experience. Thanks to the generosity of three of the fund’s original donors, CCF will now be able to help meet these needs. These program enhancements focus on supporting scholars in three areas identified as critical for academic success:

1. College preparation, selection, and first-year success

(A cohort of approximately 30 applicants from Beaufort, Charleston and Jasper counties will be selected to participate in the College Readiness Program during their Junior year of high school.)

2. Preparation for post-college success through internships

(Rising junior and senior Pinckney Scholars will be connected to paid summer internship opportunities in their respective future career fields.)

3. Opportunity grants for academic, social, and professional development opportunities

(Such as networking or professional development events and conferences, and an experience for each student once during their four years of college such as a study abroad or summer learning opportunities.)

“These program enhancements make the program stronger and will allow students more access to life-shaping opportunities,” adds Goss. “The students are living in the manor of their program's namesake, to honor his life and legacy. The synergy of the Reverend Pinckney Scholars Program is palpable and we are so proud of these young leaders.”

Programming for new scholars will begin this summer with an orientation on June 16 covering topics pertaining to the college transition, such as time management and on-campus resources. All Pinckney Scholar cohorts will attend a luncheon and professional development sessions covering soft skills training, resume building & personal marketing, and financial literacy.

The media is invited to attend a press junket and interview scholars (wishing to participate) and CCF staff on June 16 at 3 p.m. at the Belmond Charleston Place. (More information will be sent to the media under separate cover.)