Shaykeim Powe had never been to a concert before.
He’d also never been in possession of so much money before.
Now he can say he’s done both.
Powe, a senior at Mansfield Summit, recently attended the first concert of his life, Beyonce and Jay-Z at AT&T Stadium. While sitting on the front row with 19 of his friends from the Boys & Girls Club of Arlington, all hopeful, his name was called out as the recipient of a $100,000 college scholarship from the performers’ respective foundations (BeyGOOD for Beyonce and Shawn Carter for Jay-Z).
“When they started listing the career goals (of the recipient), I starting thinking ‘That’s me,’ ” Powe said. “But then when they said it was me, it went wild, and I still couldn’t believe it.”
Powe said he wants to use the funds to attend the University of Houston and enter their American Sign Language Interpreting Program.
And while he was thrilled for himself, he appeared even more excited for his family.
“I realized it means my aunt can focus more on my little brother,” he said. “Now she doesn’t have to help me get money for college, so she can put all of her attention on him.”
Shaykeim and his younger brother, Jaylon, a sophomore, went to live with their aunt when they were very young. He said they will be the first to graduate high school, and thus Shaykeim will also be the first to attend college.
“I’ve known his aunt for a long time, and she’s raised two wonderful young men,” Summit counselor Faye Musselman said. “I can’t imagine a nicer person to receive this scholarship.
“When he said he’s excited for his aunt and brother, he genuinely means it. That’s what is in his heart. Believe me, I’ve known him since middle school, when I was also his counselor.”
In fact, he is excited that UH can now offer any funds they were considering for him to another student.
“This also helps somebody else, so that’s even better,” he said. “Now somebody else can go after their dream.”
Shaykeim has been a leader in the Arlington Boys & Girls Club since joining in 2009. That, along with his good grades, and an essay that caught their attention, contributed to him winning the scholarship, he said.
“The Boys & Girls Club has been a great part of my life,” he said. “We do a lot of volunteer work and give back to the community.”
He has volunteered at Mission Arlington and helped with senior citizens as part of his community contributions. And now he wants to help others in his career, something he’s been focused on since sixth grade.
“This girl came into class and she showed us some signs. She inspired me, and I said, ‘I want to do that,’” he recalled. “I’m not fluent yet, but I have communicated with deaf people, and it’s definitely a moving experience.”
And yes, he said he does plan to go to more concerts.
“Aside from getting the scholarship, the concert was fantastic,” he said. “I definitely want to go to another.”