Alum Spotlight: Quintarus White from Rowe Clark Math & Science Academy

Published On: March 22nd, 2024Categories: 2024, Alumni, Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy

Quintarus “Quinn’” White, a 2023 alum of Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy, never thought college could be an option for him. Throughout most of his life, college was something just occasionally discussed by teachers and school staff— it was never something that he thought could be a part of his life. No one in his family had gone to college, the funds didn’t seem attainable, and he didn’t see many of the other young Black boys who lived in his neighborhood make it out.

“Growing up was never easy, and it put me through challenging times where I questioned if I would make it,” Quinn said.

Now, though, Quinn is a freshman at Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL, studying kinesiology. He’s on a full-ride, four-year academic scholarship, and he just finished his first semester with a 3.0 GPA. We checked in with him to see how college has been thus far and what he has learned.

A Look at Quinn’s First Semester

College life definitely took some adjusting to, Quinn said, but he was glad to have the organizational and management skills he learned at Rowe-Clark to help him through his classes. He felt motivated by all the support his teachers had given him during high school.

“Looking back, the support of my mentors and idols in high school who believed in me when I did not believe in myself is what keeps me going. Their support is what pushed me to attend classes,” Quinn said.

Due to the unconditional support of everyone around him, Quinn was not only successful in all classes but also had a great time while doing so. He talked about the joys of being able to connect and socialize with so many diverse people in a college environment. He’s learning all sorts of new things with a fresh set of new people around him.

“Recently, I had an assignment where I had to partner up with a random person in my class. With this partner, I had to go around campus and ask 20 random people about the different barriers that come up when trying to be successful in college,” Quinn said, “It was honestly really fun to do this assignment because I was able to see different viewpoints, gain new information, and meet some pretty cool people.”

In addition to his classes, he also talked about joining basketball on campus and how he has surrounded himself with some pretty awesome new friends in Macomb. He connected with a group of other young Black adults from Chicago who are also out there chasing a goal. 

“It’s been awesome to connect with other youth who grew up in similar circumstances as I did because they know and understand the struggles of getting to where we are now. It allows us to bond and push each other to always do better,” Quinn said.

Quinn’s Takeaways from College

Quinn also shared with us some of his key takeaways from being a new college student and what advice he would give to high school seniors as they transition to college:

“Make sure you stay on top of your assignments, the professors will not be chasing after you to turn things in. Finals week is rough! Make sure you surround yourself with people who will help you study and push you to be successful. But also make sure you have a balance! College is fun, so make sure you are getting into fun things on campus and with friends to help you with all of the school stress,” Quinn said.

While he is super excited about all the new opportunities and experiences he’s having on campus, he said he will forever be grateful for the people who have been there from the beginning.

“The staff at Rowe turned into my family. The staff in my corner—Ms. Lupe, Mr. Head, and Mr. Watts, among others—encouraged me to stay on the path to be successful. I respect and love them because they opened up a path to live a life that I could only dream of,” Quinn said, “I will always be a proud Rowe-Clark alum!”

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