‘It turned 2020 around for me’: Kansas high school senior offered more than $1 million in scholarships


OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (NewsNation Now) —  A Kansas high school senior said he has been offered more than $1.3 million in scholarships from 28 universities around the country.

“I felt kind of overwhelmed with just how much it was,” Shaun Brown Jr. said.

Brown knew he wanted to go to college. The 17-year-old, who wants to double major in aviation and mechanical engineering, said he just didn’t know how he was going to pay for it.

That’s where the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation’s scholarship program came in. This year alone, 1,600 seniors in the district received scholarship offers totaling $1.7 billion.

Brown will be the first in his family to attend college.

“My dad has always told me keep your foot on the gas,” Brown said. “If you have faith, you’ll keep putting that pressure to get where you need to go.”

“It turned 2020 around for me, just knowing that he’s living the dream I wish I had,” his father, Shaun Brown Sr. said. “You can’t give up on your kids. You have to continue to inspire and let them know, don’t look at what I’ve been through, look at what the possibilities are.”

“I always wanted my kids to know, you can do it, no matter what,” his mother Lynika Brown added. “You can do it. You don’t have to just play basketball or football.”

Brown credits his faith and parents for his accomplishments.

“It just makes me happy that I was able to make [my parents] proud,” he said.

Kimberly Hinkle, the director of the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation, said they believe that every senior should have the chance to be recruited to universities – just like athletes. 

NewsNation affiliate WDAF contributed to this report.

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