Winning For South Carolina

Junior communications major Chantelle Simpkins walked into South Carolina State University’s Honors and Awards Convocation on Tuesday unsure of what her future might hold.


She walked out with a scholarship paying for two years of college expenses, a job with a monthly salary and a secure career path after graduation – a surprise courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard.


Simpkins is the first SC State student in more than a decade to earn the Coast Guard’s College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI) scholarship. Those chosen are enlisted into the Coast Guard, complete basic training during the summer and receive full funding for up to two years of college. Upon receiving a bachelor’s degree, a CSPI graduate attends Officer Candidate School to earn a commission and start a career as a Coast Guard officer.


“It’s a set job. It’s money I can be saving. It’s great to know that I know where I am going after I graduate and not guessing,” she said. “Having school paid for is amazing, as well, because I know many people do not have that chance. They struggle to get through each semester. I’m just grateful to have to have such an opportunity.”

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