CCHS Young Men of Hope Class of 2024 Celebrate with Graduation Brunch


The Ray T. Johnson / CTS Building Banquet Room was the scene of the annual Young Men of Hope Graduation Brunch on Friday, May 9, 2024. “Moving Forward in the Time Provided” was the theme for this momentous occasion. Much energy, excitement, laughter, and love filled the room. Dr. Queenie L. Crawford, the Executive Director for the Institute of H.O.P.E. for Excellence, welcomed the attendees. Mr. Shon Johnson, one of the Colleton County School District’s J.A.G. advisors, blessed the delicious meal. This “feast of a brunch” consisted of Southern-style baked and fried chicken, succulent fried pork chops, country homemade green beans, riche cheesy macaroni, low country-style red rice and sausage, Italian saucy pasta salad with chopped ham, rolls, an array of desserts, iced tea, and water.

Mr. Shon Johnson and Mr. Timothy Hamilton, who is a member of the Board of Registration, extended powerful words of motivation to the students. Some of the members of this class were unable to attend the brunch due to required obligations at school, but some of them were able to come later during the festivities. Presentations were made by Dr. Crawford. Each one of the graduates was presented with a gift reflective of the theme, an engraved clock, along with a gift bag of other special items. Because of their perseverance throughout the years that they served, those graduates who will be attending college or a technical school will receive the Young Men of Hope Scholarship in the amount of $200 each.

Members of the Young Men of Hope Class of 2024 are as follows: Dwayne Blakeney, Jacob Breland, Desmond Brown, Jashaun Brown, Jasuan Chisolm, Henry Cook, Ja’Quan Day, Javarious Doctor, Ja’Mari Edwards, Xavier Fripp, Jamore Garden, Brian Gerard, Ethan Hodges, Atreyl Hollman, Jr., Ja’Kaylon Kirkland, Ja’Quan Kirkland, Andy Mendez, Antwone McWilliams, Richard Rheam, Isiah Richards, III, William Scott, Quarice Singleton, Kyle Stephens, Jaleel Williams, and Nicholas Yates. Several of these students will be entering college or technical school in the fall, the workforce, and the military. A new group of young men have been added to this organization, and they are the Young Men of Hope Ambassadors: Daniel Hawk, Lashombre Johnson, Broden Richards, Karter Stephens, Davon Theisen, Javon Theisen, and Kenneth Ulmer.

Special thanks were extended to all of the parents, especially for their dedicated support to their children and the organization. Further, Dr. Crawford was most appreciative that several parents stood in for their graduates who could not attend the Graduation Brunch. Thanks were also extended to CCHS Principal Uirica Bodison, Counselor James Pedigo, Dr. Harold Rhodes, Mr. Timothy Hamilton, Councilman Phillip Taylor, Mr. Herman Bright, Minister and Journalist Anna Bright, Faith Tabernacle Deliverance Temple, Jericho United Methodist Women in Faith, Mrs. Josephine Gant, Ms. Rhonda Simpson, and Mr. Shon Johnson.

Dr. Crawford was elated to share on Facebook that 25 members of the CCHS Graduating Class on last Saturday were Young Men of Hope, with two of them being a part of the Distinguished Honor Graduates. These students were identified in fifth grade and were followed through the twelfth grade. Further, she gave a special shout-out to Mr. Cornelius Hamilton, Student Achievement Facilitator, and Mrs. Kathy Shider, CCHS Director of Counseling. What an accomplishment! Congratulations to Dr. Crawford for her vision and dedication to these students.