Scholarship Helps Camelot Senior Attend Lincoln University
Growing up in Chester, Pennsylvania can present challenges, yet Quishaun Neal refused to become another statistic associated with the criminal activity the city struggles to overcome.
Neal is a graduating senior and honor roll student at Camelot’s Chester Upland Excel Academy. In the fall, he will attend Lincoln University on a football scholarship and plans to major in computer science.
“My uncle is a tech head, and being around him so much gave me an interest in computers. I try to do my best every day,” Neal said. “Technology is a big part of the future, and I’m going to be part of that; making things better, not just for me and my family, but for other kids as well. I want to be a good example to others.”
Quishaun has attended Camelot’s Chester Upland Excel Academy for the past three years. According to the school’s executive director, Dan Peticca, he attends school every day, on time, and is truly a model student. Quishaun is an asset to his classes, demonstrating his talent, originality, and positive outlook on life on a daily basis. He has strong family ties and has also proven to be an asset to the school community.
“I want my teachers to be proud of me, and most importantly, I want my mother to be proud of me. She’s everything to me. Chester’s not a great place, and my goal is one day to help her move away so she’ll never have to struggle again,” he said.
Neal came to Chester Upland Excel Academy from Cardinal O’Hara High School, a Catholic school in Springfield, PA. Unfortunately, Quishaun had to transfer schools due to financial constraints, and Camelot was a great alternative, especially because the academy provides the opportunity for students who are overage and under-credited to graduate in 2.5 years or less. It also prioritizes post-secondary exposure to guide and support students after they graduate.
“We get students for a lot of different reasons,” Peticca said. “Some have fallen behind academically, and others might have emotional or behavioral issues. Some of our students need to recover their credits; that was Quishaun’s situation. Because of his hard work, he was able to attain the necessary credits during his first year and a half with us. Then, he decided he wanted to stay at Camelot through graduation.”
Neal juggles his daily commitments to school, Chester High sports, and his family. He has made the honor roll every marking period this school year, all the while maintaining his position as starting right tackle for the Chester High School football team, throwing shot put, javelin, discus, and running for the track team. Neal said that in order to play sports, the school athletes must keep their grades up, or they cannot play.
“Quishaun had several schools looking at him but ultimately decided on Lincoln University,” Peticca said. “He’s one of our student leaders, but he’s a quiet guy. He leads by example.”
Chester Upland Excel and Achieve Academies operate within Chester High School as a specialized model designed to offer multiple programs within one school location. Camelot Education operates in partnership with Chester Upland School District.