Young, Gifted & Black Series
By Taki S. Raton
The Gates Millennium Scholarship is awarded annually to 1,000 high school students nationally. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this offering covers a full ride to any college or university in the country, all the way through a doctoral degree.
She is young, gifted and Black. Alex Dunlap is one of the 1000 students to receive this prestigious award.
“Oh, I was ecstatic,” she said as quoted in Tonya Spencer’s April 22, 2013 posting.
When she received the letter announcing her scholarship, “I started crying, my mother started crying,” she adds in this “rtv6abc” writing.
Graduating a year early this May from Broad Ripple Magnet High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, the 16 year-old plans to pursue her passion for languages. “I’m going to study Spanish, French, Chinese. I’m also trying to pick up Arabic while in college,” she reveals in Rick Ban Wyk’s April 24, 2013’s “13wthr. com.”
“Just these?” Wyk ask! “Just those,” she replied with a laugh.
“And after undergrad, I plan on attending law school,” she visions.
Published Accounts cite that Alex has already successfully completed a semester of college credits.
She additionally teaches Spanish to children and bakes cakes to raise money to build schools for girls in India.
A straight “A” student, Wyk notes that her story is even more impressive given the circumstances of her immediate learning environment.
A product of Indianapolis Public Schools where most students – in the 13wth.com writer’s words – “struggle just to get by,” this senior has worked harder than most to excel as the first student ever from Broad Ripple Magnet High School to become a Gates scholar.
“There are really a lot of good students especially here at Broad Ripple,” she note in Wyk.
“They work really hard. They care about their grades and plan to do great things.”
When asked about any added pressure to succeed, she in a “serious voice” replies, “No, I obviously planned to go and do well in college and planned on getting into law school any way.
I have to keep my grades up and keep my family proud.”
She has a commitment to fight for the rights of children in foreign countries reports Spencer.
But her plans for now prior to venturing worldwide is to stay close to home for college.
“I’ve just recently decided to go the DePauw because they have such a perfect liberal arts program.
Their study abroad offering is great and it is exactly what I need because of my languages,” she positions.
Alex adds that she will also be entering as a Bonner Scholar which is a community service scholarship.
Located in Green Castle, Indiana, DePauw University is a leading nationally recognized liberal arts college having earned the reputation as one of the nation’s first School of Music.
Additional to languages, Alex has also a love and talent for music.
She will meet the other 999 Gates Scholar winners they are all flown out this summer to meet each other and to network.
According to its website, the Gates Millennium Scholarship is targeted towards minorities with significant financial need who have achieved high academic standing and exhibit exemplar leadership potential.
Students may quality for a millennium scholarship if they are African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, an Asian Pacific Islander American, or Hispanic American.
Since the program’s inception in 1999, over 16,000 seniors have received the Gates Millennium awards during the past 15 years.
Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) are currently enrolled across the nation with a recorded 10,315 GMS having completed a degree since the program’s inception.
Alex’s plans for the immediate present is to continue with her passion for community service and to teach Spanish to central city youth.
And as to her advice to other students:
“Always work hard, study hard and make sure you find something you’re passionate about in high school.
For me, it was languages and music.
And I am passionate and love doing it, so I have always worked hard.”