Former Gamecocks Take Benefit of Carolina Diploma Completion Program

It could have been an extended highway to get to the end line, however former South Carolina student-athletes Pharoh Cooper and Nelly Perry not too long ago accomplished what they began. The previous Gamecocks took benefit of the Athletics Division’s Carolina Diploma Completion Program to complete their levels and walked throughout the stage at commencement earlier this month.

“It felt nice,” stated Perry, who earned her grasp’s diploma in well being data expertise and took benefit of the Carolina Diploma Completion Program after recovering from a critical automobile accident after her basketball profession ended. “These final couple of years I confronted a variety of obstacles and hardships. My life might have been taken in a very unhealthy automobile accident close to the tip of 2019 whereas I used to be initially ending up my diploma. I needed to put that on pause due to the accident. So, to have the ability to bodily stroll throughout the stage, understanding every little thing I have been by means of, from a psychological and bodily side, it actually meant lots.”

Former Gamecocks Take Benefit of Carolina Diploma Completion Program
Pharoh Cooper

“It was a bit bizarre feeling in coming again after six years as a substitute of doing it the primary time,” stated Cooper, who left South Carolina early after being chosen within the fourth spherical of the 2016 NFL Draft and has been enjoying skilled soccer ever since . “It did really feel nice to stroll throughout the stage and truly be finished with it.”

The Carolina Diploma Completion Program, which is a part of the Gamecock Scholar-Athlete Promise, is for student-athletes who left the college in good educational standing to pursue an expert profession or didn’t full their diploma attributable to private circumstances. This system permits these former student-athletes to use to be readmitted to return again to campus and end their diploma whereas eligible to obtain funding for room, board, books, and tuition. In addition they have entry to the entire assets provided to present student-athletes, reminiscent of tutors, laptops, and use of the Dodie Educational Enrichment Middle.

“All of my courses had been on-line, and every little thing was arrange properly,” stated Cooper, who earned his Liberal Research diploma from South Carolina’s Palmetto Faculty. “(Govt Affiliate Athletics Director) Maria (Hickman) helped me lots with every little thing in getting arrange, registration and getting a tutor if I wanted it. It was all very useful for me to return again and end. I would advocate it for others as properly. I believe it is one thing it’s best to make the most of.”

Perry began her profession at Clemson the place she earned her undergraduate diploma however transferred to South Carolina for her senior season in 2018-19, and helped the Gamecocks attain the Candy 16 of the NCAA Event that 12 months. Perry’s accident occurred in Philadelphia previous to the beginning of the 2020 spring semester. She needed to have spinal fusion surgical procedure on account of the accident, and he or she needed to take day off from faculty to be able to rehab.

“I needed to re-learn how you can stroll and work my approach again to getting full vary of movement with my neck and head,” Perry stated. “It is nonetheless an on a regular basis course of regardless that it occurred two years in the past. I will by no means be 100%, however I would say I am over 85 % now. I wasn’t in a position to work for some time. I began working once more final 12 months. I devoted all of 2020 to bodily remedy and docs’ appointments. Final 12 months I used to be in a position to begin doing bodily exercises.”

Perry famous that her mother (Charae) performed a giant function in serving to her by means of the method, and he or she took benefit of on-line programs by means of the Carolina Diploma Completion Program.

“It meant lots to get my diploma, and to be sincere, a variety of it was actually for my dad. He wished me to complete what I began.”
– Pharoh Cooper

“That made it simpler,” Perry stated. “I might undoubtedly encourage anyone to complete their diploma. It is a begin and can make it easier to do no matter you wish to do in life. You need to make sacrifices in life, and this was definitely worth the sacrifice in the long term as a result of I will have this diploma for all times. South Carolina gave me this chance and it is a terrific bonus! I believe it is a terrific program.”

Perry at the moment works for the Metropolis of Camden New Jersey within the Division of Human Providers and can also be an assistant varsity/head freshman workforce basketball coach at a highschool there.

“I work within the recreation program, so I am working with children and developing with totally different packages for the youngsters to do,” Perry stated. “That is what is within the plans for me proper now. Simply teaching and dealing!”

Cooper (2013-2015) was a two-time First Crew All-SEC vast receiver for the Gamecocks earlier than being drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in 2016 and was chosen to the 2018 Professional Bowl. He has performed six seasons within the NFL with the Rams, Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers, and New York Giants. He’s at the moment a free agent, and whereas he seems to be ahead to attempting to signal with a workforce once more this season, he’s glad he was in a position to earn his diploma.

“It meant lots to get my diploma, and to be sincere, a variety of it was actually for my dad (Glenn),” Cooper stated. “He wished me to complete what I began. He was a giant a part of my desirous to get that diploma. I wished to do it for him. Possibly I will want that diploma after soccer.”

With levels in hand, each are transferring on with their respective careers and nonetheless have fond recollections of their days sporting the garnet and black.

“I actually loved enjoying soccer at South Carolina and listening to the group yelling, ‘Cooooop’ after I made a giant play,” Cooper stated. “These are some nice recollections that I will always remember. I additionally loved life outdoors of soccer, simply hanging out with my associates.”

“Simply being across the workforce surroundings was enjoyable for me, and the FAMS!” Perry stated. “That was simply stunning surroundings with how they help us. It is superb!”