Legendary singer visits Myrtle Beach to surprise teen with scholarship

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The Myrtle Beach International Airport served as a backdrop for a special surprise this week.

Gloria Gaynor, who catapulted to global stardom for her disco anthem “I Will Survive,” was in Myrtle Beach Monday to meet a young girl who has overcome tremendous obstacles.

Spokesman Thom Storr says Gaynor first heard Megan Faircloth’s story earlier in June.  Faircloth was featured in a news story that highlighted how she achieved academic excellence while being homeless with her mother and sister, living out of the family’s car.  When Gaynor heard that Faircloth often would listen to “I Will Survive” to get her through the tough times, she knew she had to arrange something special.

The singer had just launched www.IWILLSURVIVE.org, a charitable clothing line that supports survivors. The term ‘survivor’ encompasses anyone from victims of human trafficking, domestic abuse, veterans and their families, underprivileged youth, breast cancer, autism, and even animal rescue, Storr says.  The website is also a forum for people to share their own stories of resilience and read stories shared by others.

According to a post on the Myrtle Beach International Airport Facebook page, the singer surprised Faircloth Monday singing “I Will Survive” as she came down the escalator at MYR and presented the teen with a $2,000 scholarship from her foundation.

News13 sister station WSPA reports Faircloth finished at the top of her class and has been accepted to Stanford University.

“I am just so in awe of Megan Faircloth’s strength of character and what she has achieved! It is inspiring to know that she used “I Will Survive” as a source of strength during challenging times in her life to persevere and achieve academic excellence,” said Gaynor on her Facebook page.

Another station in North Carolina, WNCN, reported Faircloth was presented an award from the governor last week for student excellence. Faircloth spent most of her junior and senior year homeless, but ended up with a 5.25 grade point average while taking seven AP courses, WNCN says.

Right now, Faircloth plans to move to California in the fall and begin studying English and education to become a teacher.