Dr. Shawn Joseph will give a four-year scholarship, including tuition and books, to a class of 2023 student who will attend either Lincoln University or Cheyney University.
Joseph is the co-director of the AASA/Howard University Urban Superintendent Academy and CEO of the education and equity consulting firm Joseph and Associates LLC. He is a graduate of Lincoln University, the nation’s first degree-granting Historically Black College and University.
Joseph said he was motivated to award a scholarship based on an interaction he had with a student from South Philadelphia High School while he was a student at Lincoln University.
“I met a young Black male student from South Philadelphia High School when I was attending Lincoln University and was an Upward Bound counselor,” said Joseph. “The student had challenges reading, and it left an impression on me. I felt like I wanted to do something to help, and, in the end, it inspired me to change my career interest in medicine and, instead, become a reading/English teacher.”
Joseph will work with principal Kimlime Chek-Taylor and assistant principal Julian Graham to identify a senior who plans to attend Lincoln or Cheyney University during the 2023-2024 school year. The gift will be given through the nonprofit Fund for the School District of Philadelphia and managed by the school district.
“This is an extraordinary story about someone who remembered his interaction and experience with a former South Philadelphia High School student when he was at Lincoln University in the early ‘90s and now wants to give back by supporting one of our students with a generous scholarship to an HBCU,” said Chek-Taylor, who is also a Fund for the School District of Philadelphia board member. “We’re honored to be the school Dr. Joseph selected for a scholarship, and we’re grateful and thankful he has given an opportunity to provide a gift for one of our students to pursue their dreams.”
Joseph said his goal is to serve as a mentor and that he believes Black males need unique support to be successful. He hinted that both Cheyney and Lincoln universities have the ability to change a young student’s life.
“Pennsylvania has two extraordinary Historically Black Colleges,” Joseph said. “And I am confident the student that receives this award will have a transformational experience at either school.”