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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Student Turns Down $80K Scholarship Because of Chicago Violence

Lander Braggs

Chicago, IL — Lander Braggs, a 17-year old African American high school senior, says he recently gave up a chance to attend a prestigious college in Chicago because of the city’s violence.

Braggs, who wants to study engineering, says he turned down a full tuition $80,000 scholarship to attend the prestigious Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) because he fears becoming a victim of Chicago’s inner city violence. He says that at first he was very excited about being offered the scholarship, but then he changed his mind.

He comments, “I’m just thinking, like, I don’t want that for me. I want to be able to just go through life and not have to worry about what’s going to happen to me tomorrow. With all that’s going on in Chicago, with all the violence and everything, I just wanted a different environment.”

He also told reporters that he knows that crime can happen anywhere and he realizes that some people won’t agree with his decision, but he is doing what’s comfortable for him. He also says he hopes that this brings much-needed attention to the impact that violence has on young African-American men like himself.

Braggs’ mother Nicole Howell says she fully supports his decision. She says says she can’t put a price on her peace of mind. She comments, “If I have to pay something that’s fine. I don’t want to have to look at my watch and say its 3:30, 4:30 I haven’t heard from him and worry everyday if he’s safe.”

So what school will he go to?

Braggs says he has also received a full tuition-only scholarship to Bradley University in Peoria, Illionis. Regarding the remaining financial obligations, his mother says she will figure out a way, using loans and other means, to pay for his room and board.