South Side ice cream shop serves up scholarships for college students

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The owners of a South Side ice cream shop are trying to help students, one scoop at a time.

Shawn Michelle's Homemade Ice Cream is giving out scholarships to students nominated from local churches in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood.

Four students received $500 checks Friday to set them up for success in the new college school year.

"It's a great honor. It's a great honor. I was wondering how I would be able to pay for my tuition at college, and my mom told me about this, and I was extremely excited," said Fabian Thomas, who will start at Kennedy King College next week.

The scholarship money was donated by local businesses, Evanston Technology Group and Alderman Pat Dowell.

"Not a lot of people in my family went to college and actually made it there," Thomas said.

Thomas' mother, Lula Hill, said, "In our family, he's the second one going to college and having a degree, so that's great."

Sesheta McNutt was among the students to receive a scholarship from the shop known for its delicious homemade ice cream. McNutt is pursuing a graduate degree in social work.

"It makes me feel like this is an affirmation. Like a confirmation truly to tell you that, yes, you can accomplish your dreams as well as people will help you accomplish your dreams, if they see you need help. And I really appreciate that," McNutt said.

Shawn Michelle's Co-owner Nataki Muhammad, the woman behind it all, has three college-age children of her own. Muhammad said she's humbled to give out the scholarship money.

"We know what it means to receive a couple of hundred dollars for books or whatever they want because everything isn't always covered with financial aid," she said.

The ice cream shop is planning to serve up even more scholarships next year.
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