GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - [if gte mso 9]>
Nearly 2 million dollars, that’s the amount of scholarship money offered to a small group of high school graduates in Goose Creek.
They're all part of a special arts program on the campus of Goose Creek High School. It's called the Berkeley Center for the Arts, also known as BCA.
Stephen Freeman graduated from the program last week. He's a percussionist who plays many instruments. Stephen is one of 30 seniors finishing in the first graduating class of BCA.
A wide range of classes are available, from music and dance to screen printing. Band Director Jenny Collins teaches both BCA and Goose Creek students. She says the smaller classes of BCA help with learning.
“You can be more individualized in your instruction to them and you could fix more things that you might not always have the opportunity to catch in a larger class,” said Collins.
All high school students in Berkeley County are able to audition to join the Berkeley Center for the Arts.
Students go to BCA classes every day for four years. Creative writing teacher Nick Geary says it builds relationships.
"You go beyond just a teacher, student rapport with these kids, you care about them, they’re your family. To see some of our kids make it to some amazing schools,” said Geary.
In the fall, Stephen will attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston. It’s one of the most prestigious music schools in the nation.
"BCA has prepared me so much as far as my future. From learning the history of music, learning the music theory part of music, just being a better musician,” said Stephen.
Right now BCA classes are spaced out across Goose Creek High School, but construction will begin on a new school later this year. It will feature classrooms specially made for BCA programs.
The entire graduating class of Goose Creek High School was offered a total of 8.7 million dollars in scholarships.