Three PUSD Seniors Win Gates Millennium Scholarships

Muir and Marshall seniors raise district’s Gates Scholarship wins to five since 2009

Published : Thursday, April 28, 2011 | 9:31 AM

The Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) announced that Valeria Sosa from John Muir High School and Marshall Fundamental Secondary School students Crystal Bascou and Samantha Hwang have won the highly-coveted Gates Millennium Scholarship for outstanding minority high school students. The scholarship is awarded to high-performing students to enable them to attend the undergraduate and graduate institutions of their choice regardless of financial need. The scholarship is awarded to only 1,000 students nationwide.

“Congratulations to Valeria, Crystal, and Samantha on winning these extraordinary scholarships,” said Superintendent Edwin Diaz. “I am very proud of the five PUSD students who have won the Gates Millennium scholarship in the last three years, and commend their dedication and focus. I would also like to thank and congratulate the students’ families, teachers, counselors and community members for coming together for the success of these students.”

A total of five PUSD seniors were named finalists this year.

The Gates Millennium Scholarship was founded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to promote academic excellence and to provide an opportunity for outstanding minority students with financial needs to reach their highest potential. Candidates are selected based on grades, leadership ability, and participation in community or extracurricular activities. The scholarship covers all tuition for both undergraduate and graduate school, should the student choose to continue with postgraduate studies. Scholarships were awarded to seniors across the country representing all 50 states.

With a net financial value of approximately $250,000, the Gates Scholarship covers all tuition, meals, dorms, registration, technology fees, and other expenses for students’ Bachelor’s, Master’s, and the first two years of Doctorate degrees.

PUSD graduates Claudia Lima-Rocha and Breana Powell, former John Muir High School students, were designated as Gates Millennium Scholars in 2009.

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