The JJSF is a nonprofit organization committed to awarding Scholarships to underserved students in Chicago and surrounding suburbs with donations from community’s fund raisers, and its business owners.
Help students who want to continue their education but have a financial disadvantage. The foundation has taken a responsibility of teaching our Scholarship participants about goal setting, financial education and responsibility to ensure for themselves a better future. It will also emphasize on “Paying it Forward” to others in need in our communities.
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Joseph Jr. Scholarship 2023 Award Recipients
Joseph Jr. Scholarship Awards Ceremony & Benefit Auction
PLACE National Museum of Mexican Art | 1852 W. 19th St, Chicago IL 6060
WHEN September 24 ,2023
TIME 1pm - 4pm
ENTRANCE Free of charge, but Donations are greatly appreciated.
Junior was born May 18, 2004 in Chicago. He was a hugger, a loving athletic and definitely the funny guy in the family with lots and lots of energy. I believe he could put the “ever ready Bunny” to shame. It was a Blessing for all family members to be around him because there was never a dull moment. He took interest in all sports at a very early age. He was on the gymnastics team at Pasteur Park and Daly College where he won first place in many competitions. His passion was playing soccer. It started rather disappointing for him in the beginning as he was struggling to score goals the first month. One day after a game, he asked me if he could quit the soccer team due to not scoring any goals since he started playing. I mentioned to him that his friends would also be very disappointed if he left the team. I made him a deal he couldn’t refuse, but the main thing was to let him know that winners never quit and that practice will not make him perfect but it will make him better. The deal was that I would practice with him at least 2 or 3 hours every day so he could improve his technique. Finally, before the end of the season was over and many hours of practice, he started to score a few goals and boy his confidence level went through the roof! So, instead of wanting to quit the soccer team he wanted to put in more practice time and could not wait to start playing indoors. What helped him a lot was the fact that we also played many pool games in our garage and I reminded him that he could now imagine that he was playing in a very large pool table and not forget how to do the off the rail angle shots. This idea really worked for him, he started to use the wall to bounce the soccer ball back to himself and make his own passes but more importantly he was scoring more goals. Junior was better than good playing soccer and most coaches believed that he had the talent to be a professional soccer player due to his skills, passion and dedication.
But life has a way of sending tragedies our way and no one is immune, it’s a way of testing each and every one of us here in this world. On April 5, 2017 while driving home from work I got a call from the lady that rented a photo studio from me and she asked me to come home as soon as possible because Junior was taken to the hospital but she did not give me any further details. Little did I know this was going to be the most tragic day in my life — Junior had committed suicide, one month before his 13th birthday! No parent should have to endure the pain of hearing that their own child has taken their life! It is very painful for me to write or talk about this unfortunate event. His dream was to help students get a better education somehow if he became a professional soccer player. To honor my son Joseph Junior, I started the “Joseph Junior Scholarship Foundation” and awarding Scholarships in Junior’s behalf and memory. 100% of the money that comes into the Joseph Junior Scholarship Fund goes to students that have a good possibility of being successful with just a little bit of help.