By Alison James
Applying for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Alabama’s Future Black Leaders Scholarship Essay contest was his school counselors’ and mother’s suggestion. But writing the winning essay was just another effort in academic effort and creativity for OHS junior JArthur Grubbs III.
“I had to write an essay about my dream and how it’s similar to Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream,” Grubbs said.
In his essay, which Grubbs wrote in a couple of hours one afternoon, he details his ambitions – to attend UCLA, earn a degree in architectural design and open his own firm.
“Ultimately, a dream is as tangible as an individual perceives it to be,” reads a line in his essay. “Whether it is light years away or close enough to touch is to the sole discretion of the visionary.”
At a special awards ceremony Feb. 23, Grubbs and the other winners and runners-up received their awards and listened to special speakers who embody the role of black leaders. Leadership is an ideal to which Grubbs also aspires.
He said it’s particularly important among his peers, considering the oftentimes lower expectations for black students and other minorities.
“I think it’s influential … for some of the other kids to have someone to look up to as a leader, to know they can do good as well – prosper, or have good grades, or just do well. I like being a role model,” Grubbs said.
He also touches on minority challenges in his winning essay.
“If one were to search the word architect in google, the number one search engine in the world, that person would find the majority of results feature Caucasian individuals,” it reads. “Success in achieving my endeavors is not limited by status quo, but can and will be accomplished through methodical dedication and internal trust in myself knowing that anything is possible.”
“I was just really excited,” said mother Vertrina Grubbs. “He works really hard, and he has invested a lot of time – he’s committed and dedicated to everything he does. We were just excited to see it pay off for him.”
His father, JArthur Grubbs Jr., expressed similar sentiments. “He’s a great kid and has been doing very well in school,” he said. “He is a young man that has walked in a lot of the ways we tried to train him in, so we’re very proud to see him win that award.”
Grubbs ends his essay by asserting that he can, and will, achieve his dream, just like other past and current black leaders.
“History tells me my dream is not impossible. If African Americans were willing to die for their beliefs in equality, if Dr. King was able to lead a march from Selma to Montgomery, if President Obama was bold enough to take office, I am convinced my dream can undoubtedly be accomplished.”