STUDENTS | March 20, 2019
Five Butler College Prep students, and a recent graduate, were awarded full-tuition scholarships on Tuesday to attend the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) as part of the school’s initiative to recruit more men of color in the classroom.
Principal Christopher Goins’ “Intro to Urban Education” class, new to Butler this year, was specifically created to introduce students of color to a career in education. The senior male class also acts as a stepping stone for students, getting them acquainted with being in front of the classroom.
Students in the class were asked to complete two essays and submit to UIC’s College of Education’s Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models, or ‘Call Me MiSTER,’ scholarship.
The scholarship provides tuition assistance, an academic and cultural support system, and assistance with job placement for students.
Goins said he made a promise to students.
“I promised these young men that if they took this walk with me, and trusted me, I’d put them in front of people who would be willing to write checks to fund their education,” he said.
Teon, one of the scholarship recipients and basketball player, said he’s happy to see his discipline pay off, adding that he has plans to return to his community one day to show student athletes that there are other paths toward success.
“I try to work hard on the court and in the classroom,” Teon said. “I want to come back to my community to show people that there’s a way out and you don’t always have to be an athlete,” he said. “You can be a doctor, lawyer, teacher, or anything you want to be.”
UIC College of Education’s, Dean Alfred Tatum, said he hopes to inspire African Americans, especially men, to return to their communities and impact future generations.
“It’s important for African American men to come back to their communities and become educators because it sends a strong message,” Tatum said. “Becoming an educator is one way to ensure you’ll live forever because generation after generation will talk about your impact.”
Butler’s Dean of College and Post-Secondary Planning, Brian Riddick, said he was proud to see his students receive the awards because of the hard work they’ve put into their education over the past four years.
Senior, Trevon, said he was surprised to find out he’d been awarded the scholarship, but was happy to see his hard work paid off.
“I felt happy and accomplished when I found out I won the scholarship,” he said. “I worked hard in class and I worked hard on the essay.”
After graduating from college, Trevon said he wants to return to his community and become a third or fifth-grade teacher.
With the help of the scholarship, he added that he hopes to make a lasting impact.
“It’s important for black males to become teachers,” Trevon said. “Students learn better and are able to function in class when they see someone that looks like them. That can be me.”