09 May Remembering Mikel Swinton: A man of small stature who played a big role in Beaufort and Port Royal
Last week we lost Mikel Swinton: a friend, and more importantly a very important role model in our community.
Just after I was elected to the SC Legislature, Mikel Swinton approached me. He asked me to help him convince school officials to teach him how to read. He said he had knocked on every educational door he could find asking for help, but was turned away each time he tried. I was so moved that I made some calls to the School District. I was surprised that everyone to whom I went knew Mikel. They adored his passion to learn but also knew his disability.
Mikel Swinton’s disability made it impossible for him to read and write, but not to learn. Throughout his years working first for the City and then through his career working with the School District, Mikel learned as much if not more than many. In fact, this wise man taught us all about persistence, hard work, personal drive for self improvement and helping others.
I know many a “learned” person who could learn from Mikel Swinton’s legacy that will last through the many people who loved Mikel and cherished his friendship.
To learn more about Mikel, read former Water Festival Commodore Mike Yoakum’s comments from Mikel’s memorial service and “Longtime Beaufort Water Festival volunteer Mikel Swinton dies” by the Beaufort Gazette.
Featured photo credit: the Beaufort Gazette