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December 6, 2021

Random Acts of Kindness Scholarship winner focuses on the future — for himself and others.

Solomon Webb overcame many hardships in life before becoming a JCCC Cavalier, including homelessness and the loss of both parents. But instead of being bitter, Solomon, a 2020 graduate of Olathe South High School, faces each day with gratitude. “All that’s happened has built, strengthened, prepared, tested and educated me about life and the world around us,” he said.

A recipient of the Linda K. Houston Random Acts of Kindness scholarship, Solomon leads by example and believes in giving back. He chose to attend JCCC to stay close to home. At JCCC, Solomon is a Student Life Ambassador and president of the Black Student Union. He is also a work-study student and a manager for the JCCC men’s basketball team. He plans to transfer to a university to earn degrees in Sports Management, and dreams of being an equipment manager for a Division I college team someday.

Personal Perseverance

Shortly after his family moved to Olathe in 2007, Solomon’s father had a stroke at work and was hospitalized. His mother, a substitute teacher for the Kansas City, Kansas School District, retired from her job to care for her husband and children.

Then tragedy struck. His father was killed by his roommate, who had dementia. His mother had to raise her children alone. “She never gave up her hope and faith in God, which is what kept her going,” Solomon said.

Things got even tougher when the family was forced out of their home in 2015. Solomon’s family lived in hotels throughout his high school career. During his sophomore year, his mother developed a serious illness. To support the family, he worked as director of music at two churches and also at Chick-fil-A.

Staying Active Helped

At Olathe South, Solomon had additional responsibilities as student manager for the football, basketball and baseball teams. He was also involved in band, choir and debate, and served as president of the Black Student Union. It wasn’t easy, but he persevered, relying on his faith and trust in God.

He was appreciative of the Olathe School District’s events for families in need, but coping with his situation was a challenge. “It takes a strong mindset to go to school knowing you are homeless, without showing or admitting that you are,” Solomon said.

When the pandemic began in 2020, he spent much of his time working and being with family. Then his life changed forever when his mother passed away in June 2020 — just days before Solomon’s 18th birthday and two weeks before her 53rd. His grandfather died less than a year later after a short illness.

Solomon’s faith and the support of others kept him moving forward. “God gave me the strength to get through, and I am grateful and blessed for the Johnson County community who showed love, support and prayers to our family,” he said.

Giving Back

"It feels good to help those who are going through what I did not so long ago." – Solomon W.

Solomon wants to “pay it forward” because his family was on the receiving end of kindness for many years. He is working with at-risk youths by helping them create a plan for success beyond graduation. “It feels good to help those who are going through what I did not so long ago,” he said.

If you would like to lend a helping hand to students facing life’s challenges, make a donation through the JCCC Foundation. One small act of kindness could have a huge impact.