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Pair of Burke scholars honored for performance in college courses

Burke ScholarsBurke High School is proud to announce Janiya Gowans and Leyna Stock were recently named to the Honor Society of the National Educational Equity Lab (also known as the Ed Equity Lab), which is a nonprofit that works to bridge the gap between high school and college for students from low-income communities. Gowans and Stock, both juniors, finished in the top 20 percent (academically) of all scholars nationwide taking dual credit Ed Equity Lab courses from prestigious colleges and universities throughout the country.

Burke’s partnership with the Ed Equity Lab began in the fall of the current school year; Burke is the only school in Charleston County School District with this opportunity. Burke’s first semester began with two courses, Poetry in America (Arizona State University/Harvard University) and Cloud Foundations (Arizona State University). A total of 32 students were enrolled in the courses and, according to Executive Principal Cheryl Swinton, had tremendous success. 

“This recognition affirms the academic capacity of our scholars when given opportunity and access,” said Swinton. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with the National Education Equity Lab and we look forward to expanding this opportunity to more of our scholars next year.”

Stock received recognition for being in the top 15 percent of scholars nationwide and Gowans received recognition for being in the top 20 percent of scholars nationwide. They were honored at a virtual ceremony on January 31, 2023. The event featured university professors, high school teachers and administrators, district leaders, National Ed Equity Lab board members, and CEO Leslie Cornfeld.

“These scholars’ success in rigorous college courses reinforces the fact that talent is evenly distributed, opportunity is not,” explained Cornfield. “We aim to change that. Talented students from under-resourced high schools belong in the best matched schools for them, including our nation’s top universities. Together with our high school and university partners, we’re empowering thousands of talented students around the country to show what they’re capable of, and to build the skills, credentials, and the confidence to succeed in higher education and beyond.”

Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, an Ed Equity Lab board member, called this effort “game-changing” for students. 

“Democratizing access to higher education in our nation has never been more critical,” added Duncan. “Efforts like this help us do just that.”

Students at Burke are participating in more classes through the Ed Equity Lab this semester: Western Way of War from Princeton University and Education of a Black Girl from Spelman College.

For additional information the Ed Equity Lab courses at Burke, contact Cheryl Swinton at (843) 579-4815.