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Shelby Grant
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I grew up on the Southside of Chicago and my community has always been a strong one. My school did not have as many resources as it deserved, but the faculty and parents made it work. Crime surfaced in my neighborhood, yet our members came together stronger. Although my background has never been perfect, it has always showed me the beauty in struggle and the fulfillment in overcoming. I am a reflection of my community and that’s why I am determined. I value making progress even when circumstances are unfortunate or inconvenient. I value making equal opportunity a reality so that future generations can experience it and continue the progress. Most importantly, I value education. Being successful in an under-resourced public school was made easier by an inspiring former teacher of mine. I had a teacher who still loves her job, and told me that I could be anything I set my mind to. To this day, she impacts my decisions; my decision to be there for urban students who may not have that one special teacher or a support system like I did. Every student should have a great support, yet that isn’t the case and I want to be a part of changing that. This is why I steer a program for high school students to tutor at a local elementary every week. This is why I joined Mikva Challenge program where my youth perspective is used to assist decision makers in Chicago’s public school system. This is why I plan on being an educator and advancing from there in my career. Nevertheless, I value action. Not only will I speak of change, but I will continue doing my part in creating it.

Education is a powerful root to individual successes and societal ones. Yet, there is still widespread inequality in the school funding system creating holdbacks in both. It’s disheartening to see schools close and with disproportional student-to-faculty ratio. I must help change that. Such a complex goal must start somewhere, and that point for me is college. When I go to college I will be able to study education and later administration. Once I am an educator I will have my impact on individual students and make sure that no inefficiencies are interrupting their learning. I will get experience as a teacher and then return to school for my graduates degree in administration. From administration position I will be able to expand the impact I want to have by supervising an entire institution. College financial burdens should not be an obstacle impeding my first step to this bright future. By providing me this scholarship, STAC would not only be influencing my education, but potentially the education of many future students. I should receive this opportunity because I have a wish that I’ve been focused on for most of my life; A wish that STAC can help make a reality.

4210 W Irving Rd, Chicago, IL 60641