Johntrell Bowles is a senior student at 21st Century Charter School at Gary who is now a Questbridge Scholar and will be attending University at Virginia in Fall of 2016!

Johntrell heard about the Questbridge from Mr. Velasco, a Mentor and history teacher at the high school and decided to apply to the program with his teacher’s and guidance counselor’s encouragement.  “I applied last June and had to write 4 to 5 essays to apply to this program, and I was really nervous about being accepted because I knew that a lot of people apply.  Over 15,000 students applied, and I was one of 4,889 finalists accepted to the program.” 

When asked how he felt about the opportunity, Johntrell responded, “I’m really excited. I’m excited that education at a top university for me is possible.  Having a low-income makes it difficult to apply to the nation’s best colleges because they are so expensive–but this scholarship made it possible for me.” 

Johntrell is a part of POP–Project Outreach and Prevention, and works with several emergency room doctors, trying to prevent violence in the neighborhood, and goes to schools to promote anti-violence. 

Johntrell had lots of support from different mentors in earning this scholarship.  Johntrell’s mentors, including a lawyer from Valparaiso University, emergency room doctors with whom he works, and Mentor teacher Mr. Velasco all reviewed his application before he submitted it.  “My ACT score was low, but my strong extra-curricular activities helped me overcome that.”

“I’m excited to attend UVA and be in a new environment. I can’t wait to meet new people, learn about new cultures, and I get that it’s going to be difficult and competitive. It won’t be an easy transition. Pray that my mind strengthens.” 

Johntrell intends to pursue medicine, and wants to go to medical school, and minor in business and broadcasting.  He is specifically interested in oncology as a result of some personal family experiences in that area. Let’s all cheer Johntrell Bowles on as he begins this new life and path to a successful career!