Earlier this month, 15-year-old Ishmale Powell graduated from Page High School with an impressive 4.5 grade point average. As the youngest graduate in Guilford County Schools' class of 2018, the Greensboro, North Carolina teen skipped two grades and took high school classes while in middle school.
This fall, Powell plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to major in computer engineering and minor in aerospace engineering as he hopes to one day become an astrophysicist. "Going at such a young age, it might be difficult for me, but I think I am ready," Powell told WFMY News 2.
Powell, who applied for several scholarships, has yet to receive additional funding beyond "$3000 in Pell Grant and $6000 from the U-N-C system for his first year of college," according to WFMY. In spite of his financial setback, Powell is still determined to start college in the fall, creating a GoFundMe campaign to raise the remaining amount needed for tuition and fees.
To help with costs, his father, Shawn Powell, who lives on a fixed disability income, has decided to move to Charlotte so that the young scholar can save money on housing and live with him while pursuing his college education.
Donnie Turlington, the interim director of Say Yes Guilford, also said: "High-performing students like (Powell), we want to find a way that we can make sure we can break down the cost barriers involved with the college."
Congratulations, Ishmale! Your perseverance and academic excellence is an inspiration to us all.