"It can be quite complicated trying to balance several things while being a full time student. I am a husband, a father of four, an artist and a barber. However, I desire to be a great example to my sons so I strive to achieve a position where I can do what I love and provide for my family. My short term goal is to continue my education and earn a Bachelors of Fine Arts. In the long term I hope to make my living teaching art to other young minds. As for what this scholarship would mean to me, it would help me achieve a solid financial aid package in which my student loans would be minimal. I am not in a position to pay out of pocket for my education. Unfortunately, I didn't receive the MAP Grant due to the  financial crises our state is in. So this scholarship will provide financial relief for my family and I during the upcoming semesters while attending NIU."

Jamiah Calvin

Northern Illinois University

Fine Arts (Painting)   

2016-2017 CSBG Scholarship Recipients

Quasha Graves

Northern Illinois University

Elementary Education   

"Being a college student these past three years have been eventful yet challenging. In order to be

admitted into the elementary education program through the college of education here at Northern Illinois University you must have at least a 3.0, 22 ACT score plus writing, and be in good standing with the school of behavior and conduct. Even though I was admitted into Northern  with a 23 ACT score, it was without writing. I thought I had plenty of time to regain my ACT score with writing and would not have any issues accomplishing this goal. Boy was I wrong. It took me seven tries and Sylvan ACT prep before I was able to finally achieve the required  score. Although the challenge I faced resulted in an additional year for my undergraduate career, I would not have traded it for anything because I am still doing what I came to Northern to do and that is become an elementary  school teacher. Receiving this scholarship would bring me the highest amount of joy because I would feel that there are people out there who are rooting for me and supporting me along my journey. I acknowledge what a distinction it is to receive a scholarship while striving to attain a degree, which is why I am aware of the honor it would be to awarded a scholarship. Receiving recognition for my academic achievements has always been the motivation that I needed to keep moving forward.  What keeps me determined more than anything is the reminder  that my contribution to society will be serving as an educator. A lifelong educator to your son, daughter, niece, or grandchild because teaching is the profession that creates all others and with that in mind I know I will forever be making our world a better place, one classroom at a time."

Johnnisha Harris

Northern Illinois University

Family and Child Studies

"Receiving this scholarship to me would mean that I am able to continue the journey that I set out to start 4 years ago. Receiving this scholarship would mean that I am not who or what people said that I

was. My whole life I was told that my life was cursed because of the life my parents lived, but I knew that God wanted better  for me so he led be to Northern Illinois University. Imagine what it felt like to be labeled as trash, but failure  didn't stop me. Failure pushed me harder than anything in life that evr hit me.  Receiving this scholarship would mean that I was able to push through  the sterotypes placed against me and I am able to accomplish a goal that I never thought  I would physically live to see. Also, receiving this scholarship would mean to me that no matter  the circumstances that are placed upon your life, no matter  who your parents are, where you come from, or how you got there, just always remember  that success is a journey and not destination. I have learned to never let your past affect the possiblities in your future. What I will contribute to society is my story, my time, energy, and my passion for change. I want to be a mentor or a role-model that the younger individuals  need in life. Everyone needs someone and I want to be that person who will inspire other individuals  to pursue their dreams. I want to go speak in different places to these young adults about how important it is to not let your surroundings be  the only thing thait defines who you are. I want to advocate and just save one child if not all of them because I know what it is like for someone to feel that they have no one and all odds are against them. I will be the first person in my family to graduate and when I graduate I plan on continuing my education to become even better."

Jocelyn Hernandez

Kishwaukee College

Applied Science in Radiology Technology

"To Whom  It May Concern,

My name is Jocelyn Hernandez and I am a 23 year old, female. I am currently in the Radiology Program offered through Kishwaukee  College. I plan to graduate with a degree in Radiology Technology next year. Receiving this scholarship would help me immensely. When I am in schcro l average about  8-10 hours  of work  every week, which  is not a lot. I do not receive  any financial  €9Jnor do I receive  any other  benefits or income. This scholarship would help me continue my studies and benefit my financial status.  My first  semester in Radiology  school was the hardest for me yet because I was working two  part  time  jobs plus going to school full time.  My second semester I had to leave one job because it was taking  time  away from  my studies and I was constantly stressed. So, receiving this scholarship would take some of the stress to how I pay for school. After I graduate, I plan on finding a job as an X-Ray technician and help those in need. Working at the Circuit Clerk's office made me reliaze how much I enjoy  helping others. That is why I chose to enter  the Radiology Program. I hope to contribute to society  by making a difference in a person's  well-being and having a postive impact on indiviuals. Being in the healthcare field has taught  me a lot about  the public  and I hope I can help treat indiviuals with various  diseases and make them  feel better. I wish to help make advancements in the medical field  to better our society. So, by receiving this scholarship will help my ambitions become more realistic and overall help have a postive  impact on society."

YooNek Shaw

Northern Illinois University

Communication: Media Studies

"My name is Yoonek Shaw and I am a Junior at Northern Illinois University. I grew up in Dekalb, IL attending grade school, middle school and high school.  I am a single dad to my 9 year old son Unique Shaw Jr. I received  custody of Unique at the age 1 year old.  I have been rasing him ever since.  I started taking 2 classes each semester at Waubonsee Community College, I earned enough credits to transfer to NIU.  It has been hard working part time trying to provide and pay bills while going to school to NIU full time. It ·would mean a lot to my son and I if I receive this scholarship. It would help with tuition, books, supplies and gas. But most of all, I will not have to take out extra loans.  As an African American single dad, I believe I'm being a great example for my son in society.  Going back to college, soon graduating, and showing my son with hard work, all things are possible. Being a positive role model in the community coaching has a great impact in our community and in the society we live in."

Executive Director Donna Moulton with Jamiah.

CSBG Coordinator Jess Collins with Jocelyn.

Family Support Specialist Lucy Sosa with YooNek.

Family Support Specialist Lucy Sosa with Quasha.

CSBG Coordinator Jess Collins with Johnnisha.