Joseph Awinongya Jr wins Chicagoland Intercollegiate Story Slam


Having been honored with the prestigious Global Visionary Award in Chicago in February 2024 for his remarkable contributions to technology, community development, and humanitarian efforts, 16-year-old amateur boxer Joseph Awinongya Jr. has added another accolade to his name in early March 2024.


Awinongya secured the 2024 Chicago Land Intercollegiate Story Slam top award, a recognition bestowed upon him during the event held on Wednesday, March 6th, at East-West University in Chicago’s South Loop.

The competition showcased a high level of competitiveness, with participants sharing compelling stories. Ezekiel Collins from Lewis University recounted a wild night during his study abroad program in Japan, while Ollie van den Huevel from Columbia College Chicago shared a story about a racially motivated physical attack on Michigan Avenue.


Representing East-West University, Shoaib Vahora narrated a tale of not being accepted for his choice of non-binary fashion by some relatives. Alyssa DiVarco from Columbia College shared a traumatic experience from her teenage years when her house burned down, nearly claiming her brother’s life.

However, it was Joseph “JoJo” Awinongya who clinched the Championship belt and a $500 cash prize with his story about facing a rival in boxing who had defeated him four consecutive times. JoJo ultimately found a way to triumph and has since gone on to secure 20 National Championships in boxing.


Despite being just 16 years old, JoJo has been drafted into the US boxing amateur team. He graduated high school early, earned an associate degree, and is now a scholarship student at the University

of Saint Francis. The entire event, masterfully curated by East-West University Professor Dr. Bill Hillmann, who is not only an author and storyteller but was also recently featured in a CNN Documentary about the running of the bulls in Spain, was a stellar showcase of talent and resilience.


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