Growing up in an era marked by the Space Race, rock and roll and madras, for Cynthia Marterre, school spirit is more than simply wearing your old high school sweatshirt on occasion. School spirit is having exuberant pride in where you came from and preserving that pride for years to come. And with the James Island Rams Alumni Scholarship fund, she hopes to do just that.
In 1953, James Island High School, also known as the Mighty Rams, opened its doors to teens in the area. As population increased, a demand for a second high school was needed and the Fort Johnson High School Trojans soon also called the Island home. However as the 80s approached, two high schools were not necessary, and under a compromise, James Island High School would live on, but with a small change. Rather than the Rams, the school mascot would be the Trojans.
Marterre, having graduated in 1966, admitted that after seeing 25 classes of Rams go by, it was disheartening to know that the mascot, culture, loyalty and camaraderie that represents James Island High School may be a memory of the past. Which is why at her recent 50th high school reunion, classmates found Marterre spreading the idea of an endowment fund that would not only help a James Island senior with expenses as they further their education, but also remind people of the Rams and preserve a spirit that will live on for generations.
Coming to CCF for help, Marterre’s goal is to raise $25,000 to benefit a student’s future.
“Rams may no longer be part of the high school, but we can still help a Trojan along the way,” expressed Marterre.
Since its inception, the James Island Rams Alumni Scholarship Fund has garnered positive responses from not only locals, but also people beyond the state who are wanting to know how they can be of help. While Marterre encourages those to donate to the fund, she clarifies that her initial request is that people simply spread the message of the James Island Rams Alumni and the effect they are trying to cause in the community.
“I think [the scholarship is] going to have a wonderful impact on the community,” says Marterre. “There’s been a history of portions on James Island working as partners – people trying to strive for harmony and coming together instead of trying to separate. This is just another example.”
To make a gift towards the James Island Rams Alumni Scholarship Fund, click here. And to learn more about Marterre’s efforts, follow the James Island Rams Alumni Scholarship Fund’s Facebook page for the latest updates.