Chicago Senior Gets Accepted To More Than 30 Colleges, Receives Over $1 Million In Scholarship Offers


March 23, 2022

He’s defying the odds!

A Chicago teen has been accepted to more than 30 colleges, receiving more than $1 million in scholarship offers, NBC Chicago reports. 

Stephen Thomas is a 17-year-old senior at Chicago’s Bogan Computer Technical High School and one of seven siblings raised by a single-parent mom. Despite various challenges growing up, Stephen’s mom Ericka said she’s always taught him to create his own story. 


“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,” Ericka said. 

Stephen took his mother’s teachings to heart, excelling academically with a 4.47 GPA while also participating in various clubs and organizations. Now all of his determination has paid off, the teen getting accepted into more than 30 colleges and receiving more than $1 million in scholarship offers. His college acceptances include schools like Loyola, DePaul, Northern Illinois and North Central. Stephen says he’s very proud of himself, not only for all that he’s achieved, but also for breaking down stereotypes about what Black boys who come from where he comes from can do. 

“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. I want people to look at me and be like ‘wow he’s really out there doing something that we really thought we couldn’t do just because of how he looked,’” said Stephen. 


The teen says he hopes his story inspires other youth like himself to just keep pushing and know that anything is possible. 

“It’s not impossible. Again, I am just a kid from Chicago that put the work in and put the time in, and [hopefully] somebody else is seeing this and they’re like ‘wow I can do it too,’” he explained. 

Congratulations, Stephen! Keep being an inspiration! 


Photo Courtesy of NBC Chicago

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