Independence High senior Timothy Johnson won the Pride Stepping Stone Award, which[singlepic=491,320,240,,right] includes a $5,000 scholarship and recognition at the 17th Annual Lowe’s Pride Awards. The Stepping Stone Award honors a Mecklenburg County high school senior who is active in the Architecture, Construction, and Engineering (ACE) program at West Charlotte, Myers Park or Independence high schools. Seniors must have a grade-point average of at least a 3.0 and plans to pursue a four-year college degree.

“When I found out I had won the award and the $5,000 scholarship, I just screamed — even though I was in the office at school!” said Timothy.

Timothy has participated in the ACE program since the beginning of the year. His ACE mentor, Heth Kendrick, nominated him for the award. Kendrick is a senior associate at LandDesign, Inc. He told a group of Independence students to apply for the award and scholarship, and the advice paid off for Timothy.

“I felt like I had accomplished something most people wouldn’t try to do,” said Timothy. “It shows there are people my age who do try to do the right thing and are working hard in school.”

Timothy has a 3.89 grade-point average and is active in several school organizations, including student council, the Pep Club, Sunshine Club, poetry club, gospel choir, dance team and DREAM (Daring to Role-Model Excellence as Athletic Mentors) Team. He is also on the track and cross-country teams and works at the Johnston YMCA.

“One thing that is important to me is perseverance and self-motivation,” Timothy said. “You have to push yourself to succeed.”

Timothy hopes to attend either North Carolina Central University or Florida A&M University in the fall, and wants to study psychology or interior/exterior design.

The 17th Annual Lowe’s Pride Awards take place on Saturday, Jan. 17, at the Westin Hotel. This year’s theme—Design/Build/Live—will focus on the achievements of African-Americans in the real estate and construction industry. The awards are sponsored by Pride Magazine and have raised more than $200,000 for local nonprofit organizations over the past 15 years.