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Juquel K. Young Memorial Scholarship

Funded by
user profile avatar
Ada Washington
1 winner$700
Application Deadline
Jul 25, 2022
Winners Announced
Aug 25, 2022
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior
Gun violence survivor

Juquel K. Young was a beloved son who passed away too soon after being killed at the age of seventeen. 

Juquel was killed on July 15th, 2018 before beginning his senior year. Juquel has always been excited about graduating with his class and walking on graduation day but was never able to achieve this dream due to his life being cut short.

This scholarship aims to honor the memory of Juquel K. Young by supporting graduating high school seniors who are gun violence survivors.

Any high school senior who is a gun violence survivor or has been impacted by a close family or friend being injured or killed with a gun may apply for this scholarship. 

To apply, tell us what your motivation to press on is.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published April 7, 2022
Essay Topic

What is your motivation that causes you to press on?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Re'Ana Barrentine
James Island Charter High SchoolCharleston, SC
Gun violence has taken a toll on our country as a whole. It appears that every time you turn around, there’s been another shooting and/or mass killing. The news media spends the first several moments talking about crime, which usually involves gun violence. It is becoming increasingly difficult to watch – especially when it involves another African-American male. According to the media, this demographic tends to be on both sides of the violence – the victim, and the perpetrator. According to recently published statistics from the (CDC), more people died of gun-related injuries in 2020 than in any other year on record! The number was a staggering 45,222, which includes murder, suicide, unintentional deaths, and law enforcement-involved shootings. I lost a friend (actually more than one) to this senseless violence, and these statistics make you wonder - what IS your motivation to press on? His name was Zion Williams. I’ve known Zion during our years at James Island Charter High School. We attended several classes together, and he was always filled with joy and laughter. He always wore a smile. He had a baby sister that he adored, and that adored him. Here is what the article regarding his death explained. “Authorities identified the teen who was shot to death on Jan. 5 outside a residence on Little Smith Road. Zion Williams, 17, of North Charleston, died from a gunshot wound that night, according to the Charleston County Coroner’s Office. Deputies from the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the home off Maybank Highway and set within dense woods, about 8:30 a.m. the next day, sheriff’s spokesman Andrew Knapp wrote in a news release. They found Williams in the yard, dead from a gunshot wound. Residents told deputies they heard gunshots the night before but didn’t report them at the time. Charleston County detectives arrested two boys, ages 16 and 17, on Jan. 10 in connection with the fatal shooting. Each of the suspects faces one count of murder. They’re being held in juvenile detention. Information gathered through the Sheriff’s Office investigation showed the two teens traveled in a vehicle with Williams to Little Smith Road, where they got out, shot Williams more than once, and then drove off.” The whole thing was shocking and painful! Our friends at school couldn’t believe it! We shed many tears and comforted each other. His very best friend also lost her dad in the same year. How do we press on? Praying! Some of my friends knew the power of prayer, and some had to learn. We lifted and encouraged each other, as we do to this day. It’s never going to be easy, but the load gets a little lighter with time. It is not something that we should ever get used to, as it happens so often. It is emotionally crippling to continuously lose our brothers and sisters to this violence – especially when perpetrated against each other! There is so much more to say on this subject. The conversation has to go on in order to achieve any sort of resolve, but it takes all of us. Gun violence has taken a toll on our country as a whole. It appears that every time you turn around, there’s been another shooting and/or mass killing. No sister or brother should have to deal with the loss of a sibling, and certainly, no parent should ever have to endure the loss of a child. What is my motivation to press on…keeping the faith and praying without ceasing! We have to hold on to the belief that it’s going to get better!


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jul 25, 2022. Winners will be announced on Aug 25, 2022.

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