The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announce plans to increase funding to one of its key national scholarship programs—the Gates Millennium Scholars program (GMS)—to encourage more college students to pursue careers in the field of public health.
The GMS program was launched by the foundation six years ago, in partnership with the United Negro College, and is a $1 billion initiative to provide access to college through a scholarship to academically talented low-income students of color who could not otherwise afford a college education.
While most high schools students do want to go college and be successful, less than a third is able to achieve that goal. The cost of college is a barrier to college for many. In the next ten years, nearly four million high school graduates will not attend a four-year college because they cannot afford it. This has implications for the future of our economy with the increasing demand for workers with college-level skills.
The Gates Millennium Scholars Program has been highly successful in providing scholarships for undergraduate and graduate study for 10,000 minority students from across the country and three US territories. Since its inception, the program has increased the number of students pursuing graduate degrees and careers in science, math, education, engineering and library sciences. About a third of GMS undergraduates are enrolling in one of those fields of graduate study.
By adding public health to the GMSP program, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation hopes to have similar impact by increasing the number of minority students in the pipeline for public health careers. The foundation believes that adding Public Health as an approved GMS graduate field will do much to increase the pool of minority talent in fields like, Epidemiology, Biomedical Science, Tropical Disease, and Public Health Practice and Nutritional Science.
Currently, 18 GMS students are pursuing graduate degrees in this field:
Paola Gutiérrez, Greenville, SC attending Walden University
Rebecca Hernández, West Palm Beach, FL, University of Florida
Morjoriee White, San Antonio TX, attending Emory University
Mike Acheampong, Chattanooga TN, attending Emory University
Magan Butler-Coleman, Grand Rapids MI, attending Emory University
Antoine Clinton, Walkertown NC, attending Emory University
Travis Johnson, Winter Garden FL, attending University of Florida
Leneisha Ferrigon, Miami, FL, attending Barry University
Lawrence Fung, Brooklyn, NY, attending New York University
Louis Graham, Los Angeles, CA, attending Morehouse School of Medicine
Kassaundra Mankins, Laurel, MD, Johns Hopkins University
Constance Mason, Greenville, NC, attending East Carolina University
Mahada McDoon, Charlotte NC, attending University of Kentucky
Joseph Nguyen, Kansas City, MO, attending St. Louis University
Kimberl Nguyen, Everett, MA, attending Tufts University
Collen Samuel, Gaston, SC, attending Walden University
Jamie Stevenson, Madison, WI, attending Boston University School of Public Health
Scholastic Nikuze, Cedar Falls, IA, attending Loma Linda University