EDWARDSVILLE - University of Illinois Chicago gave an Edwardsville High School student the surprise of a lifetime Thursday with a full ride scholarship.

“This is such a huge surprise. I knew when I saw my family come into the classroom they had a good surprise for me” said Jonah Durbin, senior at EHS and recipient of the UIC scholarship.

Jonah Durbin was completely surprised when family, teachers, and Dean Alfred Tatum of UIC showed up in the middle of class. It was then he found out he was being awarded a full ride to UIC. Durbin was truly shocked as he heard the exciting news, shaking the hand with the Dean of his new school. Dean Tatum praised Durbin’s impressive application and goals of becoming an educator. It was a happy day for everyone involved to see Durbin be recognized for his determination and talents.

“I’m so grateful to receive this scholarship. I had no clue they were going to surprise me with something this big. I’m excited to attend UIC!“ said Durbin.

Dean Alfred Tatum of UIC traveled all the way from Chicago to present Durbin with the “Call me MISTER” scholarship. The program, growing across the country, stands for “Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models”. Serving as a way to increase diversity within school teachers and help to encourage students of color to achieve their academic goals of becoming teachers.

In fall 2018 University of Illinois Chicago’s College of Education welcomed seven students into the newly formed “Call Me MISTER” program. UIC is continuing expanding on this program by rewarding and welcoming more students into the program and offering scholarships.

“I’d like to be a teacher of science or math” added Jonah when asked what he wanted to do with his degree after college.

Durbin has an exciting future ahead and is sure to be an outstanding educator, as expressed by family, friends, and teachers. Durbin added he hopes to inspire and positively influence as he teaches students once he comes an educator.

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