The Columbia Urban League hosted the 34th annual Young & Gifted Awards Ceremony on Saturday, February 22, 2020 at Brookland Baptist Church. The ceremony celebrates Black History Month with a tribute to young African Americans. The program included remarks from the President of Columbia Urban League, as well as community members. The keynote speakers were seniors from two different high schools in the Midlands area that have excelled in academics, athletics, and community service.
Several Swansea High School students were honored at the ceremony, and six students attended. The following students received awards based on Academics: Kennlynn Pressley, Tatum Leaphart, McKenzie Speights, Jasmine Lowman, Megan Morris, Tadrick Hallmon, Chad Hallman, Michael Jones, Najee Smith, Jhania Johnson, ShaKayla McKnight, Lauryn Robinson, Khaitlyn Smith, Devin Sease, Ja’Quan Williams, and Joseph Smith. Khaitlyn Smith also received an award for the Arts, while Tatum Leaphart, Jasmine Lowman, Michael Jones, and McKenzie Speights received awards for Leadership. CATE (Career and Technology Education) awards were given to Tadrick Hallmon, Michael Jones, and ShaKayla McKnight. The final awards were for athletics, given to Michael Jones, Tadrick Hallmon, Devin Sease, Tatum Leaphart, McKenzie Speights, and Jasmine Lowman.
Tatum Leaphart was chosen for the Spotlight Award. She is a well-rounded student maintaining a high GPA while participating in student organizations and serving her community. She is a member of Beta Club, PEARLS, and Teacher Cadet. Tatum volunteers with Gaston Dixie Youth baseball as a t-ball coach. She is also a part of the Varsity Cheerleading Squad where she serves as Senior Captain. Tatum has been accepted and plans to attend the University of South Carolina to major in Elementary Education.