Thomas is a senior student at Chicago’s Bogan Computer Technical High School. He is set to graduate with a 4.47 GPA. Aside from excelling academically, he also participates in several clubs and extra-curricular organizations.
Thomas, together with his 6 other siblings, was raised by his single mother, Ericka. Even though it was challenging to raise them alone, Ericka, who is an educator herself, made sure to guide him since he was young.
“No matter what life presents you just go for it you write your own story we know there are narratives out here about our black boys but it is our responsibility to change that narrative,” she told NBC Chicago.
Truly, his determination paid off as he recently received acceptance letters from more than 30 colleges, including Loyola, DePaul, Northern Illinois, and North Central. He was also offered more than $1 million in scholarship offers.
“When I am recognized, I won’t just have been another Black teen on the news for something bad like gang violence or me getting wrongfully shot. I want people to look at me and be like ‘wow he’s really out there doing something that we really thought we couldn’t do just because of how he looked,’” Thomas said.
Moreover, Thomas hopes his story gets to encourage other youth like him to know that they can achieve what he did, too.
“It’s not impossible. Again, I am just a kid from Chicago that put the work in and put the time in, and [hopefully] somebody else is seeing this and they’re like ‘wow I can do it too,’” he said.