LTU student body president named to Skillman Foundation list of young Black leaders

SOUTHFIELD—A Lawrence Technological University senior has been named by The Skillman Foundation as one of its “20 Black Detroiters Making History” youth honorees.

JaJuan Jones Jr. will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering from LTU. Among his many campus activities, he founded the Student Philanthropy Council, served as vice president of the LTU student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, and was elected president of LTU student government. He also helped organize a student food pantry for those struggling with food access, and serves as a campus ambassador and campus tour guide. He was also student manager of the women’s lacrosse team and works as a medical assistant part-time at an urgent care clinic.

The Skillman Foundation, providing funds to support Detroit youth achievement since 1960, said the awards are intended to “highlight Black youth excellence that makes the world a better place… young people engaged in service, organizing, leadership, and support in their communities.”

Jones said of the honor: “It was definitely a surprise, and something I did not expect.” He said his goals at LTU are “making change on campus, helping with the community, and changing the LTU community for African Americans. I advocate for students in everything that goes on on campus. I try to be low key with how I’m helping students because I don’t like big recognition. I believe there’s a greater purpose.”

Jones was nominated for the honor by the LTU Office of the Provost, and LTU Provost Richard Heist called Jones “an example of the best LTU has to offer–a great student and an even better citizen of the University and the community.”

LTU President Tarek M. Sobh added: “We’re very proud of JaJuan, and we know he is destined for great things.”

For now, those great things involve staying at LTU. After graduation, Jones said he plans to apply for the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program at LTU. “I’ve toured the program and met with the professors, and I like them and they like me,” he said.

In nominating Jones, the Provost’s Office noted that he “is always the first one to help any student with any issue that arises on campus, whether it is housing, academic, or resource related. He is a very genuine and personable student and as soon as you mention his name people know who you are talking about.”

For a complete list of the 20 Black Detroiters Making History 2023, visit

Lawrence Technological University,, is one of only 13 private, technological, comprehensive doctoral universities in the United States. Located in Southfield, Mich., LTU was founded in 1932, and offers more than 100 programs through its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, Engineering, and Health Sciences. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for alumni salaries. Forbes and The Wall Street Journal rank LTU among the nation’s top 10 percent. U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best in the Midwest colleges. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

About The Skillman Foundation

A voice for children since 1960, The Skillman Foundation partners with people to transform education systems, nurturing the brilliance and power of Detroit youth. It has granted over $730 million and has served as a vocal advocate to strengthen K-12 education, afterschool programming, child-centered neighborhoods, youth and community leadership, and racial equity and justice. It is in the process of developing a new strategic framework, co-designed with Detroit youth and their champions. The framework focuses on two pillars: people and systems—investing in the power of Detroit youth, educators, and community to design and influence education policy and systems change. Follow updates at

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