First Meeting Street Scholarship Fund recipients graduate from college

January 23, 2024

The Meeting Street Scholarship Fund did more than improve Alexis Pinckney’s college experience; it enhanced the trajectory of her life.

“Financial stress was eliminated,” Alexis said. “I didn’t have to pay anything out of pocket. The Scholarship also helped me from a networking perspective. I met so many people through that experience; it opened a lot of doors.”

Alexis is one of the first Scholarship recipients to earn her college degree. In total, four students graduated from Charleston County high schools in 2021, earned Meeting Street Scholarships then completed their college degrees in December 2023. The other graduates are: Lillian Avery, Azaria Ervin and Amari Gibson.

It’s a significant accomplishment for students, and the Scholarship Fund is proud to have supported these high-achieving students with demonstrated financial need. Research shows those with college degrees tend to earn more and have lower unemployment rates compared to those with just a high school diploma.

“This degree will impact students in a positive way for the rest of their lives,” said Josh Bell, executive director of the Meeting Street Scholarship Fund. “We are honored to have our first Scholarship alumni and look forward to many more recipients joining this group in coming years.”

Alexis graduated from the College of Charleston but that’s not where she thought she would enroll. As a high school senior, she told everyone that she was going to Spelman College, one of the best historically Black colleges and universities in the country.

She’d been accepted to the private school and offered financial assistance. But then she qualified for the Meeting Street Scholarship and was forced to weigh her dream with its expense.

“Looking back, I’m glad it didn’t work out to go to Spelman,” the Charleston native said. “I went home every weekend, and I wouldn’t have been able to do that if I were in Atlanta. I also wouldn’t have been able to graduate in two years.”

Alexis was able to get a jump on her college credits by attending Early College High School, which offers students the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree as well as a high school diploma.

The reality that Alexis would graduate so quickly didn’t hit her until it actually happened, and she said she won’t forget the experience of seeing her family in the stands and hearing their cheers as she walked across the stage.

“It felt great,” she said.

She plans to continue working as an after-school counselor with Charleston County School District while she studies for the Law School Admission Test and eventually pursue a career as an attorney. She also hopes to do some traveling – perhaps abroad – because she didn’t have time for those experiences during her compressed undergraduate experience.

“I have a lot of things to figure out,” she said. “Nothing is impossible. The word ‘impossible’ itself says ‘I’m possible.’ That speaks to who I am.”

The Meeting Street Scholarship Fund is accepting applications for the 2024-25 school year.