Dragon boating a reward for students who have overcome obstacles

Berkeley County students experience dragon boating for the first time (Source: Rebecca Lamb/WCIV)

By Sonya

CHARLESTON, S.C. ( WCIV) -- The Turnaround Program is a program that helps students in Berkeley County overcome adversity.

Those that make it through successfully are rewarded with the Mark Scarbrough Award, which is more than a trophy. For some it's a once in a lifetime experience.

Some of these kids have never spent time on the water, so{}Monday was about broadening their horizons.

"We have partnered with Dragon Boat Charleston, an amazing community partner to work with, to bring these kids out to try something they have never gotten to do before which is to go on a dragon boat," said Amy Kovach, Director of Communications with the Berkeley County School District.

And for the kids it brought a plethora of emotions.

"It was really fun first of all and it's intense," said Manny Alcantara, one of the Turnaround Award winners.

"It was scary. We got in the boat and we rode to the other dock," said Brookelynn Doctor, another Turnaround Award winner.

Being out on the Dragon Boat taught all the students about the importance of teamwork.

"We had to paddle the boat together and success comes when you work together. That's the good part," said Doctor.

Some even got to experience leadership first hand.

"I felt like a leader, so I had to like, set the mark for everybody else so they could keep up too," said Alcantara. "I think I did pretty good. I felt like we was rolling along."

At the end of the day, Sheila Scarbrough hopes that the sport that her husband loved so much will have a positive impact on these youngsters.

"Dragon boating really brought a lot of strength to him. I think it brought him along for the nine years it really did, so we wanted to honor his memory," said Sheila Scarbrough, Mark's widow.

And hopefully some life lessons were learned along the way.

Those involved are hoping to make this an annual part of the Turnaround Program, which is geared toward kids from 5th to 12th grade in Berkeley County.