North Charleston High School Principal Henry Darby recently made news for working an extra job to help students in need | Photo by Rūta Smith

North Charleston High School Principal Henry Darby hasn’t yet escaped national recognition and celebration for his work supporting his students and community. At Saturday night’s NAACP Image Awards, aired on BET, Darby was highlighted as an “unsung hero.”

“My area has a community of poverty. A number of my students are sleeping under bridges and in cars, and I said ‘Woah, I can’t allow that,’” he said in a produced video during Saturday’s award show. “I found myself dipping into my emergency funds. Common sense suggests the next course is to get another job.”

Darby took a job as a Walmart stocker last year, working nights, to raise money for North Charleston students in need and their families.

The story that followed has been featured in numerous state publications and garnered national attention with an appearance on NBC’s TODAY, and helped to raise money for the principal’s efforts through a GoFundMe fundraiser that took in roughly $186,000. Altogether his efforts brought in more than a quarter million.

In February, Gov. Henry McMaster awarded Darby the Order of the Palmetto, the award is the state’s highest civilian honor awarded to South Carolina citizens for extraordinary lifetime service of national or statewide significance.

Darby was in good company at the NAACP Image Awards, as two other South Carolina natives won awards for their performances. Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman took best actor and actress for their roles in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Davis, born in St. Matthews, also won best actress in a TV drama for How to Get Away with Murder.

Boseman, an Anderson native, was named best support actor as well for his work in Da 5 Bloods. He died of colon cancer last year at 43.