We are thrilled to announce that UCW High School senior Julien Sims’ admissions offer to Grinnell College was accompanied by one of only ten Laurel Scholarships offered this year! The Laurel Scholarship is a highly competitive scholarship and mentorship program intended to help excellent Black scholars with great leadership potential thrive during their undergraduate career at Grinnell. 

Julien’s accomplishment is a culmination of his incredibly hard work in the classroom, on the court and field, and in his community. Julien has served as executive student body president, basketball team captain, and CEO and founder of Chill Apparel, which sold over 250 units of clothing within two months. During his high school career, Julien took on extracurricular coursework to sharpen his demonstrated business acumen through the Gray Matter Experience Business and Entrepreneurial Program as well as through the Howard University School of Business Entrepreneurial Program. In addition, Julien was chosen to participate in the highly selective community-based organization The Academy Group, which expanded his already impressive network through their business and mentoring program.

“Julien’s passion to learn, drive to compete, and commitment to bettering himself have made him an unforgettable student during his years here. Our school would not be the same without Julien,” said UChicago Charter School Chief College Officer Will Torres.

This list of Julien’s accomplishments isn’t exhaustive. Most recently, he and his classmate Terrance Dantzler worked with UChicago Crown School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice Professor Franklin Cosey-Gay on an editorial that was accepted for publication by the American Journal of Public Health. The editorial highlights Julien and Terrance’s insights on youth violence and the work of the Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention.

We are thrilled that Terrance was also offered the highly competitive Laurel Scholarship in his early decision admissions notification from Grinnell College in January. While these two young men will be missed dearly by the UChicago Charter community, we are delighted that they have the opportunity to continue their educational journeys together.

Julien and Terrance stand side by side outside their campus building. Terrance holds a football.

Julien Sims (left) and Terrance Dantzler (right)