Muir Senior Awarded PCF’s Inaugural Kennedy Scholarship

Eloheem Mahone, third from right, is joined by, left to right, John Muir High School principal Dr. Lawton Gray, Elizabeth Kennedy-Ellis, Pasadena City Councilmember Tyrone Hampton, Lena Kennedy, his mother Natasha Mahone, and Geraldine Sudduth Kennedy.

Pasadena Community Foundation (PCF) is proud to announce Eloheem Mahone as the inaugural recipient of the Leola Sudduth and Thomas Foster Kennedy Scholarship, an endowed fund at PCF that provides scholarships to outstanding college-bound African American and Black youth in the greater Pasadena area. Eloheem was awarded $20,000, payable over four years.

The Kennedy Scholarship Endowment was established by Pasadena Councilmember John J. Kennedy in 2014, with help from his nine siblings, to honor his parents with a permanent legacy for the community in which they raised their family and were actively involved. Councilmember Kennedy died in 2022; now, the scholarship also serves as a tribute to his deep commitment to Pasadena.

About Eloheem Mahone

Graduating senior Eloheem Mahone (“El”) is finishing his high school career at John Muir Early Magnet High School with a 3.97 GPA, 23 units completed at Pasadena City College, and more than 10 college acceptances. Since middle school, he has leveraged several opportunities to connect with school and community resources, strengthening his skill set and confidence along the way. El plans to study social and behavioral science; he plans to leverage his athletic background to contribute to mental health research on reducing athlete burnout.

In middle school, El joined the local nonprofit STEAM-CODERS, developing his foundational knowledge in coding, Java Script, robotics, Python, and cyber security. During this time, El was also accepted to Caltech Y’s Rise Program, which helps students prepare for college-level math and science. Despite his achievements in high school, El did not gravitate toward math and science initially. In fact, he attributes his academic success to these programs and to his Caltech tutor, Kyle. El’s mother, Natasha Mahone says, “It was such a blessing that Caltech was able to find a male person of color for El, and that Kyle stayed with El every single year. Kyle was his constant, which gave him the extra confidence and further ignited his love for the sciences.”

In 2019, El was recognized as one of the only two students selected from the Pasadena area to participate in the Hidden Genius Intensive Immersion Program, where he received training in computer science, software development, entrepreneurship, and leadership. Through this program he not only built a website but also created his own clothing business. El continued to hone his academic and leadership skills through his four-year involvement with MPYD (Mentoring & Partnership for Youth Development), a nonprofit program that serves male youth from John Muir High School with academic support and the development of social skills and career goals.

Eloheem Mahone, Muir’s Varsity baseball pitcher, also holds a 3.97 GPA and an impressive background in STEM and leadership extracurricular activities.

After four years as Muir’s Varsity lefty pitcher, El aspires to play baseball at the collegiate level while majoring in psychology. His interest in studying psychology stems from overcoming a personal challenge. In the 8th grade, he was diagnosed with dyslexia. Accepting this difference in his learning style, he embraced dyslexia as a source of strength. “I enrolled in specialized programs and sought out educational resources tailored to my learning needs,” he notes. “It encouraged me to think creatively and develop problem-solving skills that have proven valuable in my academic and personal life. This educational challenge also pushed me more toward the study of the mind and the science of psychology.”

Upholding the Kennedy Legacy

“A student like Eloheem Mahone becoming the first-ever recipient of the Leola Sudduth and Thomas Foster Kennedy Scholarship fills us with immense pride,” says Lena Kennedy. “My brother John and we as his siblings established this scholarship with a deep appreciation for the transformative power of education. We are confident that Eloheem’s promising future will beautifully mirror and uphold the legacy of excellence, learning, and community service cherished by my parents and my brother, the Honorable John J. Kennedy.”

This fall, Eloheem will enroll at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).  This exceptional student says he is ready to contribute to both the academic and athletic vibrancy on UCLA’s campus and community, “I am not just an athlete or a scholar, but an intersection of both. I am excited to embark on this journey.”

Dr. Lawton Gray, Eloheem Mahone, and Councilmember Tyrone Hampton pictured in front of Muir High School on April 23, 2024.