Mandella Asamoah Mensah is a first-generation college student, a Star Scholar, a Harry S Truman alumnus, and a current student at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).

Unlike many of his friends, Mandella never had to worry about how he was going to pay his tuition thanks to the Star Scholarship, which pays for both tuition and books for qualified students.

As Mandella told a group of fellow Star Scholars and their families when he introduced Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the 2018 Star Cording Ceremony, “Thanks to the Star Scholarship, I basically went to Truman College for free. It seemed almost everything I needed for my success was handed to me one way or the other. I had my tuition and books paid for – a major headache every semester taken away just like that.”

He also had the opportunity to meet with Star partner institutions like Loyola, UIC, Northeastern, DePaul, North Park, Robert Morris, University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and others to learn more about their programs and the continued benefits of being a Star Scholar. He also had access to academic advisors and transfer advisors every step of the way.

He also says that “the Star Scholarship gave me the chance to meet students going through the same challenges – other students just like me. I considered the Star advisors, other Star Scholars, and everyone who helped support me while I was at City Colleges to be a family and a support group. I truly appreciate all their help in every way.”

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