Thaddeus Wright

“This scholarship is a blessing for me, number one. It means a lot because not only is it helping me with college but it’s a token of appreciation from God, and I’m very honored to be getting the award. My career goals are English education; that is what I will be majoring in. I want to become a secondary high school teacher in Chicago so that I can give back to my community.”

Alexis Bell

“This scholarship means the hard work has really paid off, especially from my family who have supported me from the beginning. The scholarship, for me, is not the end but just the beginning. I want to become a physical therapist in college. I will be attending the University of Wisconsin/Madison, majoring in kinesiology (the
study of movement).”

Thomas Morris

“Getting this scholarship is a great honor for me. Out of all the young people, I was picked out of 14 kids. Receiving the scholarship is not just receiving money for me; it tells me I am seen as having potential for the future of our society. I’ve got to make sure of my responsibilities to represent that society and make sure I give back to the community. When I represent something I try to represent at the fullest, so I am going to do the best I can to make everyone proud. I want to be seen as an African American student, businessman, engineer-anything is possible for me. My first career goal is to be a computer engineer because my father was into computers. Also, I want to be a businessman and own my own computer engineering business. We could make our own products, develop them, make money to give back to the community and help out in third world countries.”

Samec Figueroa

“Receiving the scholarship means I have succeeded. A lot of people say there isn’t help out there, but this shows that there is help out there. I will always have people to thank for my accomplishments and receiving financial help. I plan to attend Joliet Junior College, starting off in their culinary program. I want to major in business and construction management. I love construction and I recently won first prize in a construction model; the ceremony will be in a few days. After the first two years I’m not sure what university I want to attend. I grew up with my mother; I have a sister and there were hard times but my mother was always there telling me what to do.”

Shonte Clay

“The scholarship means I had a lot of supporters and I have achieved my goals so far. I have higher goals to achieve and I look forward to striving for them. I’m very lucky and blessed to be here, and hopefully I will be successful. I would like to play basketball overseas in Spain. I received a full basketball scholarship to a Big 10 school at the University of Minnesota. My career goal: I plan on studying broadcasting and mass communication, and I would like to be a sports broadcaster after I retire. I just want a career maybe with radio, near a school where I can motivate young people like I was motivated.

Vincent Smith Jr.

“Receiving this scholarship means a lot to me. I think I have worked hard all year in order to receive this and it will benefit greatly with financial aid. I plan on majoring in business and marketing in college. Some of my goals are meeting new people, networking and starting my own business. I would like to thank my parents for staying on me and showing me the right way.”

Note: Thaddeus was valedictorian of his class at Orr Academy High School, and he’s a vocalist at his church.

Actress Pam Grier:

“As long as my arms and legs are working, as long as I have my sense of sight and sound, as long as I can just breathe, then that’s beautiful.”

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