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2020 Young & Gifted Program

Press Release For Immediately Release Thursday, February 20, 2020

Contact: Cheryl Humphries 803-929-1036


The Columbia Urban League will host its 34th Annual Young & Gifted Awards Program, celebrating Black History Month with a tribute to African-American High School Seniors nominated by their respective high schools on Saturday, February 22, 2020, at Brookland Baptist Church, beginning at 12:00 noon. In addition, students’ families, district superintendents, school principals, student guidance counselors, school staff members, and local business leaders will be in attendance. This year’s theme is Achievement Matters: Teaching the Past. Creating the Future.


This year’s co-keynote speakers are two of our honorees, Mr. Derek DeShawn Brown, a student at Lower Richland High School and Miss Nyah Leveretter, a student at Westwood High School. Derek, a student-leader and entrepreneur, currently maintains a GPA of 4.337. Derek will receive his CATE Work-Based Certification in Engineering and complete the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. Nyah, a student-athlete and scholar, currently maintains a GPA of 4.667 and is ranked number 3 in her class. Next year, Nyah will be attending the University of Kentucky, majoring in journalism and playing basketball.


“The Young & Gifted Awards Ceremony recognizes achievement as a defining legacy of Black History Month. Through achievement, the honorees are history makers”, says Mr. James T. McLawhorn, Jr, President & CEO of the Columbia Urban League, Inc. This Awards Program recognizes African- American high school seniors from Allendale, Clarendon, Fairfield, Florence, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Newberry, Richland, and Sumter counties, who excel in academics, the arts, leadership, technology, and athletics. Each student will be honored at the awards ceremony with a personalized award that acknowledges their achievements, McLawhorn said, “This event also recognizes the important roles parents, schools, and the community/village play in promoting student achievement.”


The Columbia Urban League, established in 1967, offers programs designed to provide economic empowerment and educational opportunities for those in need. The Mission of the Urban League movement is to enable African- Americans and other under-served communities to secure self- reliance, primarily in education, employment, and economic development. The Urban League is the nation's oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to empowering African Americans and others to enter the economic and societal mainstream. The Urban League Movement was founded in 1910.


For additional information, please contact Cheryl Humphries at 803-929-1036 or via email: cherylh@culsc.org, or James T. McLawhorn, Jr., at 803-929-1040.###