"I could not believe I was on the verge of attending my dream university on a full ride. It was a surreal mix of what I have always dreamt of and what was now a reality."
Those are the words of Paola Bojorquez-Ramirez, Class of 2016, after she received news that she was selected a Gates Millennium Scholar, thus being awarded the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship.
"Paola continues the legacy of academic excellence at Atrisco Heritage Academy High School," said Principal Dr. Gabriel Antonio Gonzales. "We are grateful to her and so many other seniors for offering a strong and positive example to our underclassmen."
"Being a Gates Millennium Scholar is much more than being a recipient of a monetary scholarship," said Ms. Bojorquez-Ramirez. "I will develop skills that will help me succeed in my future academic endeavors and will receive guidance that will help me successfully transition to college. In addition to growing as a leader, I will continue to do my best to positively impact the lives of others and will provide a hand to those in need."
As a Gates Millennium Scholar, Ms. Bojorquez-Ramirez will receive:
- Support for the cost of education by covering unmet need and self-help aid;
- Renewable awards for Gates Millennium Scholars maintaining satisfactory academic progress;
- Graduate school funding for continuing Gates Millennium Scholars in the areas of computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science;
- Leadership development programs with distinctive personal, academic and professional growth opportunities.
She understands the value of this award. "It feels amazing to take off the pressure of figuring out how to pay for college expenses off of my parents' shoulders."
"She has shared with me that she is an only child and her parents have worked so hard for her so she can better her future," says College GO Center counselor Angelica Delgadillo. "I know they are so proud of her, as I and all staff and students are here at Atrisco."
Ms. Delgadillo continues, "Paola has grown to be an amazing young woman. She has always been a 'go-getter' student, asking questions, doing research on colleges/universities, taking advantage of opportunities like internships, volunteering with Jaguars for Positive Change at Atrisco and in the community. She is always responsible and reliable. She has been a role-model student."
As for her college destination, Ms. Bojorquez-Ramirez proudly proclaims, "I plan to major in biology at the University of Texas at Austin as a part of the Biology Scholars Program to then pursue a (career in the) health profession in dentistry."
Paola Bojorquez joins Class of 2015 Gates Millennium Scholars Daisy Astorga (Smith College - MA), Desirae Martinez (USC) and Jonathan Salazar (Duke).