AUBURN GRESHAM — Scholarships will help college-bound JoeShawn Head as he heads to either the University of Virginia or University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the fall.
The Lindblom senior was awarded the Gates Millennium Scholarship, which helps minority students. Out of thousands of applicants each year, only 1,000 are selected for the award, which is funded by a $1 billion grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Head, 19, said he plans to study international relations and economics. The Auburn Gresham resident’s career goal is to become an United Nations ambassador. He recently studied Arabic in Morocco. He holds a 4.57 GPA and is a part of the debate team and the Lindblom Local School Council.
Head also was awarded the $20,000 Foot Locker Scholar Athletes scholarship. He was the only student in Chicago to receive it. Representatives and his parents surprised him last week at a school pep rally.
“It’s exciting, it’s like I can take a breath now,” Head said. “At first, I was just like nothing is going to pan out.”
His parents are proud of him.
“I feel overjoyed,” said his mother, Chandra Junior. “I’m so proud of JoeShawn, and I know that he’s going to go off and do great things. This is a blessing because I have no money."
“I’m excited and very proud of JoeShawn,” said his father, Joel Head, who graduated from Lindblom in 1988. “To see my son here doing this is, it’s awesome. I really appreciate Foot Locker and the things Lindblom has provided for him.”
Both parents said the scholarship money would help tremendously.
Head’s parents aren’t the only ones who are proud. His principal, Wayne Bevis, has seen him grow and develop over the last four years.
“He has always been an outgoing person who is driven academically, but now you see more focus, you see his goals and his ambition,” Bevis said.
Bevis also credited Lindblom teachers and staff for Head's success.
“You see the success in our students because of the time and the investment our teachers make in each student as an individual,” he said. “Our teachers learn who they are, their experiences, and they weave that into their classes and into how they support each student.”
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