Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Students Set Their Sights on a College Scholarship; Program Offers Some How-To Information for Aspiring Scholars

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Students Set Their Sights on a College Scholarship; Program Offers Some How-To Information for Aspiring Scholars

Article excerpt

Byline: Meredith Rutland

Dante Johnson sets his sights set on a business career after college. But with two siblings and a middle-class income, he knows affording his dream school will be a challenge.

So he sat in a room with 350 other male teenagers Thursday at Edwards Waters College and absorbed advice on how to create a competitive application for a rare scholarship.

The Paxon school senior paid close attention with the reality of loans looming after graduation.

He's hoping the Gates Millennium Scholars program will give him the chance he's looking for, but first he needs to figure out the application.

The Gates Millennium Scholars program, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, gives college scholarships to students across the country.

It is meant to remove "barriers to education for high-performing, low-income students," according to a program statement. If a student is chosen, the scholarship pays whatever Pell Grants and other scholarships can't cover.

Four Jacksonville students were chosen last year as Gates Millennium Scholars out of 1,000 students. About 53,000 students applied, said Kevin Cooper, relations manager for the scholarship program.

Cooper said the organization reached out to minority males, knowing young men in Jacksonville have a more difficult time succeeding academically and professionally. He believes more of them could earn the scholarships if they knew about the opportunities that exist.

"With the plight of what's going on with minority males, we understand they're losing who they are, their identity," he said. "They can go to college, they can get scholarships, if they just stay focused and don't fall victim to their circumstances."

Darren Gardner, director of the black male college explorers program at Edward Waters College, a high school after-school program for at-risk youths, brought some of his students to hear about the scholarship. Since most of their parents won't be able to help with college, this scholarship could make a path to a college education, he said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.