Supporting Student Leaders & Building Barkley’s Legacy

Every year Coastal Community Foundation receives hundreds of applications for its General Scholarship Program. This year, 129 students received a combined total of $291,711 in scholarship awards. $10,000 of that total comes from the Foundation’s largest single award: The Rufus C. Barkley Jr. Leadership Scholarship.

Created in honor of Mr. Barkley before his passing in 2001, The Rufus C. Barkley Jr. Leadership Scholarship is awarded to one applicant annually with a strong academic record, a history of community service, and demonstrated vision, integrity, ethics, leadership and generosity. The scholarship is renewable for all four years of college, providing $40,000 in total.

This year’s winner of the Barkley Scholarship is Gabrielle Milton – Gabby for short. Bound for Spelman College in Atlanta, Gabby is considering majoring in Psychology or Political Science.
Her diverse, engaged involvement in leadership activities showed the selection committee that Gabby will succeed whatever path she chooses. A dedicated athlete on the track and cross-country teams, she also participates in several leadership organizations in and out of school, including Jack and Jill of America, an organization dedicated to fostering African-American youth leaders through civic engagement.
Gabby’s creative side shows through when playing flute and making 3-D art. For her senior thesis at Wando’s AP Art class, she created a 12-piece project which promoted awareness of social injustice in American history.

However, Gabby’s dedication to community service overshadows all of her other accomplishments. She explained to us that service isn’t just about fulfilling mandatory requirements. “I find pleasure in the hopeful smiles individuals reveal when I am volunteering,” she explained. “They allow me to reflect and realize how my personal stresses are truly minimal.”

As for her thoughts on winning the Barkley Scholarship? “I still can’t believe that I’m the recipient! I am so truly blessed and thankful for the Barkley family. I plan on staying in touch with them throughout my college career and after.”
Best of luck, Gabby! Coastal Community Foundation and the Barkley family look forward to hearing about your success at Spelman.
To learn more about supporting or creating scholarship endowments, please contact Steffanie Dohn at

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