PHILADELPHIA, PA — A South Philadelphia High School senior will be the recipient of a four-year tuition and books scholarship to attend Lincoln University or Cheyney University from 2023-2027 thanks to the generosity of Dr. Shawn Joseph, Co-Director of the AASA/Howard University Urban Superintendent Academy and CEO of the education and equity consulting firm, Joseph and Associates LLC.
Dr. Joseph is a graduate of Lincoln University, PA, the nation’s first degree-granting Historically Black College and University (HBCU); he credits the university for much of his success since it gave him an excellent education and the core skills to become a leader.
Dr. Joseph’s motivation to give this scholarship stems from an interaction he had with a student from South Philadelphia High School while he was a student at Lincoln University.
“I met a young Black male student from South Philadelphia High School when I was attending Lincoln University and was an Upward Bound counselor,” said Dr. Joseph. “The student had challenges reading, and it left an impression on me. I felt like I wanted to do something to help, and, in the end, it inspired me to change my career interest in medicine, and instead, become a Reading/English teacher.”
Dr. Joseph graduated from Lincoln University and went on to pursue a master’s degree in Reading from Johns Hopkins University and a Doctorate from The George Washington University. He became an accomplished educational leader, with strong experience in managing organizational change across large systems to achieve improved student outcomes.
Dr. Joseph said that he believes Black males need unique supports to be successful in America. He explained that his goal is to serve as a mentor for the student that is selected to help him reach his fullest potential. He shared, “Pennsylvania has two extraordinary Historically Black Colleges, and I am confident the student that receives this award will have a transformational experience at either school.”
In addition to his many leadership positions in the education sector throughout his 25-year career, Dr. Joseph was most recently the first African American superintendent for Metro Nashville Public Schools from 2016-2019. He was also the Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning in Prince George’s County, Maryland from 2014 to 2016. He is the former superintendent in Seaford School District, Delaware from 2012-2014 and a former Maryland State Principal of the Year in 2009.
Dr. Joseph will work with Principal Kimlime Chek-Taylor and Assistant Principal Julian Graham to identify a senior who plans to attend Lincoln or Cheyney University during the 2023-2024 school year. The gift will be given through the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia and managed by the School District.
“This is an extraordinary story about someone who remembered his interaction and experience with a former South Philadelphia High School student when he was at Lincoln University in the early ‘90s and now wants to give back by supporting one of our students with a generous scholarship to an HBCU,” said South Philadelphia High School Principal and a Fund for the School District of Philadelphia board member Principal Kimlime Chek-Taylor. “We’re honored to be the school Dr. Joseph selected for a scholarship, and we’re grateful and thankful he has given an opportunity to provide a gift for one of our students to pursue their dreams.”