Alumni Spotlight

Meet CEaL Alum Rae'L Jackson

Photo of alum Rae'L JacksonRae’L graduated from CCU with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with minors in Journalism, Photography, New Media and Digital Culture. She began her CCU journey in the CEaL program, later becoming a CEaL program Peer Leader. “This program gave me a chance to start school early, learn about the campus and learn more about myself. After CEaL I was able to welcome students in while on the O-Team, lead students as a RA, and represent students as a SGA e-board member. You have what it takes to do what I did and MORE. Thanks CEaL for believing in me.”

Rae’L recently moved to Rock Hill, SC where she works as a news reporter for CN2 news. Her advice to students is, “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” 

Meet CEaL Alum Chris Mathis

Photo of CEaL alumnus' first day of graduate school

Chris Mathis was a student in the CEaL program and later served as a Peer Leader for both the CEaL program and Bridge program. He graduated from CCU in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Communication. He pursuing his Masters in Higher Education Administration at the University of Tennessee, working as a graduate assistant.

“There, I was able to learn about myself and explore different options for my future. Participating in various organizations such as being a CCU Tour Guide, Life Mentor, Orientation Leader, and CEaL and Bridge program Peer Leader, I realized through these different positions that I truly enjoyed the work that I was doing by making an impact and difference on campus. I will definitely say the CEaL program gave me chance when no one else believed in me. If you give the CEAL program your all, then you will succeed to make ever lasting impact on your life.” 

Meet CEaL Alum Rebecca Lopes

Photo of Rebecca Lopes

"If I were to tell high school me, who got denied from three colleges that I would have two degrees, walk-on a team as a Division 1 athlete, have a full-time job and I would graduate from college with a 3.9 GPA for both undergraduate studies and graduate school, I would not believe it. I will forever be thankful for CEaL and Coastal Carolina University for giving me the opportunities to be successful when no one else did."

After graduating from college, she got a job with the Horry County School District and teaches Special Education at Aynor High School. She is currently teaching English and Social Studies., and coaching Boys Junior Varsity Soccer.

"Take chances, chase your dreams, and never ever doubt yourself and what you can achieve. Never let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough - just go out into the world and prove them wrong."

Meet CEaL Alum Eriq Bruce

Photo of Eriq Bruce

"My experience within the CEaL program was phenomenal. I am so grateful to have been a part of a program that focused on me and prepared me for an amazing college experience."

Eriq earned a Bachelor's in Political Science from CCU and recently completed his Master's in Public Administration from Liberty University. He is  currently working as a Program Manager for Amazon.






Meet CEaL Alum Bobby Walls

Photo of Bobby wallsBobby Walls was a student in the CEaL program when the program started in 2014. He worked as Peer Leader for the CEaL and Bridge program until he graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and minors in English and African Diaspora Studies. Bobby is currently working as Creative Producer and Technical Director of WFXB-TV’s Carolina AM, Midday News, and Not The News.

“Every chance I get, I always talk about how the CEaL program saved my life. Being raised in a small town in the Lowcountry of South Carolina (shoutout to Hardeeville), I had this notion that I will never leave that area. Those weeks prepared me for what was to come in the next four years and life in general. CEaL gave me the opportunity to live out my wildest dreams.

One piece of advice I’ll give is to always bet on yourself. By believing in yourself, with a combination of consistent hard work, anything is possible. ”

Meet Alumni Tyrus Ceo and Daniel Pinckney

Image of an article about almuni Tyrus and DanielTyrus majored in Accounting and Business Management, and Daniel majored in Marketing and Management. They are Owners and Creative Directors for their store Top Notch Boutique. They are high investors and entrepreneurs that specialize in marketing and business design. “The world is in your palm, you just have to grab it.”

Their experience with CEaL as one of the first groups was “stressful at first, but once the semester started we were already ahead as freshmen and knew ALL of the resources Coastal had to offer which helped us to progress through the semesters to come. Even though some days may seem boring and dull, it will all pay off in the end. Use all the resources available to enhance your ability as a student on campus to easily excel. Having hands on help and experience with a group that is designed to help you will make the academic aspect of Coastal a breeze.”