Detroit, MI — In 1999, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donated a $1 billion grant to the United Negro College Fund for college scholarships in their name-the Gates Millennium Scholars Program (GMS). The goal is to promote academic excellence and to provide an opportunity for outstanding minority students who have a financial need, to reach their highest potential. It is the largest and most successful minority scholarship program in the country.

This is the tenth year of the scholarship program. More than 13,000 students have received GMS scholarships since the program began. Currently there are 5,000 Gates Scholars attending over 900 schools including Ivy League colleges, flagship state universities and UNCF historically black colleges. The 1,000 new Gates Scholars are from 48 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, and will begin attending 346 colleges and universities in the fall.

Thirteen of this year’s Gates Millenium Scholars attend Detroit Public Schools. They are:

Breeanne Brown / Cass Tech Nazmun Nahar / Cass Tech Jared Laws / DSA
Janice Duncan / Cass Tech Skyler Lindsey / Central Ashley Lane / Northwestern
Munmun Khan / Cass Tech Danielle Smith / CMA Chanel Beebe / Renaissance
Kelly Lewis / Cass Tech Dejone Miles / DSA Kandyce Perry / Renaissance
Terrance Buck / DSA

The GMS program reduces the financial barriers for Native American/Alaska Native, African American, American, Asian Pacific Islander American and Hispanic American students with high academic and leadership promise. The long term goal is to significantly increase minority representation among the country’s future leaders and in targeted disciplines such as technology, education, public health, the sciences, and library science. The scholarships are termed good-through-graduation, and provide uninterrupted financial support from undergraduate through doctoral programs.

GMS students are recognized leaders on the college and university level because of their graduation rate of nearly 80%. That is higher than the graduation rate for high-income students as a small group and higher than all college students, nationwide, in general.

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