Serena Williams Makes Education A Priority For Clarendon County

Apr 17, 2002 Issues: Education

(CHARLESTON, SC ) - Education has always been a top priority in Serena Williams' family.  On Wednesday, April 17 she will help further the education of young children in Clarendon County, South Carolina by donating a $10,000 check to Clarendon School District 1.  Serena will present the check to Sixth District Congressman James E. Clyburn following her singles match on Wednesday at the Family Circle Magazine Stadium.   

The Clarendon School District 1 services a total of 1400 students from the town of Summerton in Clarendon County.  Over the past few years the district has faced some serious problems involving budget cuts and declining enrollment.  Congressman Clyburn, who represents Clarendon School District 1, has worked tirelessly on trying to improve the public schools in the area.   Clarendon County School District is the site of the Briggs vs. Elliott desegregation case, which was one of five combined cases that ultimately became Brown vs. the Board of Education.  That landmark decision, made close to 50 years ago, lead the way in desegregating public schools in America and making education available to everyone regardless of race. 

In 1927 a young girl by the name of Althea Gibson was born in Clarendon County that would help change the face of sports by paving the way for minorities in professional tennis.  In 1956 she became the first African American woman ever to win a major singles title by capturing the French Open.   She is a woman of remarkable character who overcame many obstacles and her impact in the world of sports has been monumental.  She is a true hero to her native state of South Carolina. 

"Education is a right that no child should be denied in this country and we must all work to insure that all children receive that right," stated Williams. "It is my hope that this money will help inspire children in Clarendon County to realize that education opens up a world of opportunities. What better role model for those kids to follow than Althea Gibson who has lead the way for many of us."

The majority of the money ($8,000) will go to purchase computer laptops to be used at three schools in the district.  The remaining $2000 will be allocated for the Serena Williams Scholarship, which will be awarded to a high school senior who excels in both academics and athletics.