College Access Plan and John Muir High School Student Wins Prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship

College Access Plan (CAP), a Pasadena nonprofit that provides free programs in college preparedness and success, has had the honor of supporting hundreds of underserved students who attend Pasadena’s public schools as they reach for their college dreams. This year, CAP assisted three students, Kimberly Mejia, Logan Patton, and Cecilia Valle, who were all selected as finalists for the Gates Millennium Scholars Program (GMS).

Thousands of underrepresented minority students apply each year for the opportunities the GMS program offers. According to the GMS website, the program “selects 1,000 talented students each year to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice.” Gates Scholars receive “personal and professional development through…leadership programs along with academic support throughout their college career.” (

CAP is proud to announce that Kimberly Mejia has officially been named a Gates Scholar!

Kimberly, who attends John Muir High School, first came to CAP as a freshman participant in CAP’s Footsteps to College leadership program, which encourages students to be leaders around the issue of college attendance at their school and provides participants with college readiness resources and individualized staff support. Logan and Cecilia began attending CAP as juniors, and all three students regularly attend CAP’s drop-in after school program at Muir, which runs in partnership with the PasadenaLEARNs after school program. The Gates application process includes writing eight personal essays and submitting transcripts and multiple recommendation letters, and all three students worked diligently through this challenge with support and cheering-on from CAP’s staff, their teachers, and their counselors.

When she was named a finalist, Kimberly told CAP, “In December, I was on the verge of deciding not to finish the [Gates Millennium] application. It was a very intimidating application, but I received so much support from CAP. I can’t believe that I almost did not submit the application because now I am a finalist!”

Now an official Gates Scholar, Kimberly, who has also won scholarships from the National Elks Foundation and was named an Edison Scholar, is deciding between UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as her top schools to attend next year. Logan is deciding between UCLA, UC Berkeley, and UC Davis, and Cecilia will attend Cal Poly Pomona as an Electrical Engineering major this fall.

About College Access Plan

College Access Plan is an independent 501c3 nonprofit that prepares underserved students to succeed in college. Through partnerships with PUSD, Pasadena LEARNs, and other local agencies, CAP provides no-cost drop-in college readiness advisement and topic-specific workshops on site at four PUSD high schools as well as at Washington Middle School. CAP’s programs are open to all students who aspire to Dream Bigger about their futures.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Pasadena Now has been published daily since April, 2004 and is among the very oldest continously operated community news websites in the U.S.

Pasadena Now strives to publish a full spectrum of news and information articles in service to the entire community. The publication will remain free to readers and will not erect paywalls.

Pasadena Now strives to provide factual, unbiased reporting. Our opinion section is open to all.