Thursday, December 01, 2016
Barbara Andrews, a middle-school teacher in Orangeburg, South Carolina and SC State University alumna, who through her work in the community, secured $15,000 in contributions to establish a special scholarship fund. She donated $7,500 in scholarships for students at SC State University who are impacted by lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease. She contributed the remaining funds to neighboring Claflin University.
Andrews’ unwavering devotion to her students and the HBCU community has granted her the opportunity to make a difference and pave the way for others.
“You have to give back, so that others can come behind you,” said Andrews.
SC State President James E. Clark thanked Andrews for supporting the university and for reaffirming the message of giving back to SC State.
Clark said, “That’s [donating to the university] one of those messages we have to start instilling in students during their freshman year, to help make it possible for those who come later. It’s especially important for those who leave here and have great success.”
“We certainly appreciate your commitment to the university and for being an example that should inspire others to contribute to the university,” he continued.
Andrews, who serves as the Orangeburg director of the Lupus Foundation of America- South Carolina Community Partner, was diagnosed with the illness over 15 years ago. She relates to the challenges that come along with this condition, which motivated her contribution to both universities so that Andrews resources would be provided to those who may be hesitant about revealing their condition with lupus.
She explained, “When you have lupus, you’re not wanting to tell anyone, so you want to make sure students know where the resources are.”
She is working towards creating support groups to better serve these students, and cater to their specific needs.
Andrews plans to host a walk for lupus next spring to raise more funds for scholarships and to help sustain her efforts to give back to the community.
“I want longevity. I plan for this [the scholarships]to be around,” she expressed.
“We are delighted to see the continuing influx of donations made possible by our alumni and friends,” said A.L. Fleming, associate vice president for Institutional Advancement and executive director of the SC State University Foundation.
The criteria to receive this scholarship includes being a student who has lupus or a dependent student of a parent with lupus. The applicant must also have demonstrated unmet financial need for school. Additionally, scholarship recipients are required to write an essay on how lupus has affected their lives.
Andrews’ passion has impacted the lives of many, and she hopes to continue being a voice and an advocate for lupus warriors.
For more information on the Barbara Andrews scholarship, contact the SC State University Foundation at (803)536-7190.