Five students at Kenwood Academy in Chicago earned a Gates Millennium Scholarship this year.
The award pays full tuition plus room and board to a college of the students’ choice.
Since their freshman year at Kenwood Academy on Chicago’s South Side, these students have been told they will go to college and be successful—-while breaking a vicious cycle of poverty and illiteracy.
“Both sides of my family are like that and it’s crazy,” scholarship recipient Quinasa Douglas says. “Like how did I become the one to make a difference? And initially I felt a lot of pressure because I have to be the one.”
“It’s not like I’m doing for myself I’m doing it to be a role model for the next person…to let the next girl know you don’t have to just be pretty and not be on your books,” Gates Millennium Scholar Amber Cowan says.
And they’re going to be a Gates Scholar.
55,000 students across the country applied for just 1,000 scholarships. 52 students from Kenwood applied, with the school’s five winners topping all the other schools in the country.
Kenwood’s class of 2014 has already earned $20 million in college scholarships based on need and merit.
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