We are pleased to announce the winner for our 2023 College Scholarship Essay Contest!!

And the winner is…Maurquez Thompson

The Winning Essay

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life, as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed” – Booker T. Washington.

My name is Maurquez Thompson; I am a first-generation and low-income student. At age six, I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. As a result of the chemotherapy and treatment, I experienced blindness, seizures, hypertension, and memory loss. When I was hospitalized, my mom would always be there. My father, who had an addiction to crack, abandoned our family because he “could not handle the cancer.” This left our family in an awful predicament. My mom had no job due to her disability and received income from SSI. Witnessing my mother remain optimistic and courageous during my treatment has molded me into the young man I am today. I continue to be grateful to be a nine-year cancer survivor and in the top five of my graduating class. I owe much of who I am to my mother. My “momma” is determined, intentional, and supportive of everything I do. She raised all ten of her kids by herself and made it look easy, even when times were very difficult. My determination to achieve comes from the determination my “momma” had as she obtained her associate’s degree with eight kids.

I plan to major in philosophy on the pre-law track while minoring in history. Ultimately, I aspire to become a public-interest attorney to help marginalized people who can not afford effective counsel and have little hope of getting a chance at life in our legal system, like my brother, Unjolee Moore. Unjolee is a victim of perjury, official misconduct, prosecutorial misconduct, and a forced false confession. Unjolee is also a victim of ineffective and negligently appointed counsel and was sentenced to life for a crime he did not commit. I believe God created me to be a catalyst to change the systemic racism, mass incarceration, and wrongful convictions that plague our criminal “justice” system and negatively impact our society.

I recently began volunteering at the Hamilton County Juvenile Youth Court Program. Youth Court is a juvenile delinquency diversion and peer justice program. Youth Court is dedicated to rehabilitating first-time non-violent offenders, holding youth accountable for their actions, and educating youth on constructive conflict resolution. Although this is my first year in Youth Court, I have represented two students thus far and have had all charges dropped. This program has taught me the value of restorative justice, which will help me as a future attorney. I am grateful to intern at Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel P.C. At Chambliss, my duties include reviewing court documents, consolidating files, and helping attorneys and paralegals on the litigation floor. I have persevered through cancer and am confident I can persevere through the obstacles I will face in college and in law school.

I hope the Faith Hope and Love Jesus, Inc. Scholarship Committee considers my scholarship application because I am dedicated to serving my community, determined, optimistic, and resilient. I anticipate being an example to other scholars, proving that we can all rise above our circumstances with resilience and distinction to achieve a greater good.


1. What school are you attending? 

I am a freshman at Stanford University.

2. What is your major?

I plan to major in Political Science with a minor in Economics.

3. What plans do you have after you graduate?

After graduation, I plan to become an Attorney and/or an Investment Banker.

4.  What are your interests and hobbies?

I enjoy hiking, reading, traveling, sleeping, eating spicy food, and hanging out with friends.

5.  Share whatever you would like about who Maurquez Thompson is.

Maurquez is the youngest of ten and is looking forward to going skydiving one day.

Meet Our 2023 College Scholarship Essay Winner…MAURQUEZ THOMPSON

A Word From Our Executive Director

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