COLUMBIA, S.C. — Twelve students publicly signed and committed to their college for next year.
Not unusual, but this group of seniors were committing to the arts and not sports.
Students at Dreher High School were able to publicly sign and commit to their college just like sports signing. Instead of heading to be redshirted at a Big 10 or SEC school these students will get full and partial rides into arts programs all across the country.
The seniors are involved in their programs such as dance, theatre, and music.
"We just felt really strongly that there were athletes that were getting recognized for our accomplishments, and we had some astounding artists that go on and major in the arts and receive as large or larger scholarships for their college," said Kathleen Lee, Dance Director at Dreher High School.
Dr. Chris Lee is the band director at Dreher who said this is their third year honoring art seniors.
"We do this art signing every year to celebrate all the work they've done," Dr. Lee said. "Their scholarship offerings are sometimes either full rides or very close to full rides and we want to provide the students that are here that are actually graduating with the chance to be celebrated."
Some students at the school said they are happy they get to be recognized for all their hard work and achievements like their athlete peers.
Eliana Pickney is going to Temple University next fall, and she says she is happy to have the opportunity to celebrate with her friends, family, and teachers.
"I've seen a lot of my friends who play sports get signed, and they work just as hard as we do," Pinckney said. "It's been really amazing to share this opportunity with my friends who go to Dreher, because this is like one of our last moments as artists on the Dreher stage that we'll be able to have."
Anna Swearingen is another senior, who will be attending the University of South Carolina in the fall. She said recognition like the arts signing ceremony is important for all arts students.
"It's amazing how the arts are fostered and encouraged here," Swearingen said. "It's often the case that the arts are less encouraged, less funded in our public school system. So I think it's so important that we're funding this and supporting it because it needs just as important as athletics."