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17-year old from Chicago accepted to more than 30 Colleges, receives over $1M in scholarships



Stephen Thomas, a Black 17-year-old from Chicago, Illinois, has received acceptance letters from over 30 institutions and scholarships offers worth more than $1 million.

Thomas is a senior student at Chicago’s Bogan Computer Technical High School. He is set to graduate with a 4.47 GPA.

Along with doing well in school, he also takes part in a number of groups and extracurricular activities.

Thomas was raised by his lone mother, Ericka, along with his other six siblings.

Ericka, an education herself, took sure to mentor him ever since he was a little child, despite the fact that raising them alone was difficult.

Even though it was challenging to raise them alone, Ericka, who is an educator herself, made sure to guide him since he was young.

“No matter what life presents you just go for it you write your own story we know there are narratives out here about our black boys but it is our responsibility to change that narrative,” she told NBC News Chicago.

Truly, his determination paid off as he recently received acceptance letters from more than 30 colleges, including Loyola, DePaul, Northern Illinois, and North Central.


He was also offered more than $1 million in scholarship offers.

“When I am recognized, I won’t just have been another Black teen on the news for something bad like gang violence or me getting wrongfully shot.

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Thomas remarked, “I want people to look at me and think, “Wow, he’s really out there doing something we truly believed we couldn’t accomplish just because of the way he looked.

Thomas also hopes that his experience may inspire other young people to believe that they, too, are capable of achieving what he did.

It’s not insurmountable. Once more, I’m just a kid from Chicago who put in the effort and the time.

And [maybe] someone else sees this and thinks, “Wow, I can do that too,” he added.