The U.S. Attorney's Office in South Carolina awarded a Cane Bay High School student special recognition for his participation in a contest advocating against gun violence in schools.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lane Crick presented Marcus Epps the award as overall winner for grades ninth through 12 in the 11th annual Project Sentry Logo Contest. Epps received a plaque and $100 during a surprise ceremony at the school Friday afternoon.

Epps, a 16-year-old sophomore at Cane Bay, was among four winners in the state who were chosen among 210 entries from 29 schools in South Carolina.

The contest is meant to give South Carolina students an opportunity to tell the entire state how they prevent gun violence in their school, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The theme of the contest was "Preventing Gun Violence in Your School."

The winners were selected by a group of students from the S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice, who travel throughout the state promoting community awareness of the consequences of juvenile crime, according to U.S. Attorney's Office representatives.

Other winners around the state included Edisto Primary School in Cordova, Kingston Elementary School in Conway and William J. Clark Middle School in Orangeburg.

Reach Natalie Caula Hauff at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.