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Grand Rapids Public School Students win Gates Millennium Scholarships

How awesome is it that two students from GRPS were selected for the Gates Millennium Scholarship.

Is this big?  You bet it is! Their college worries are over.

The Gates Millennium Program (GMS) selects 1,000 talented students each year to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice. The goal of GMS is to promote academic excellence and to provide an opportunity for outstanding minority students in need of financial assistance to help reach their highest potential (

Kaleab Mamo and Tonyea Brown

This year, Kaleab Mamo and Tonyea Brown are both recipients of this scholarship, which will provide funding for their entire college career up to $350,000 each.

Kaleab is a senior in the GRACEP program at Creston High School. In the fall, he will attend the University of Michigan to major in Biochemistry. Kaleab has been deeply influenced by the works of Dr. Catherine Hamlin, an 88-year-old Australian gynecologist who currently lives and works in Ethiopia. When describing Dr. Hamlin he refers to her immense generosity and thoughtfulness and always wanting to help women, which inspires him to do the same. When he first received the news that he was a finalist, he was asked about this opportunity and what it would mean to him if he won. Kaleab answered, “I would like to help people get cures and treatments necessary around the world in the future. If I win the Gates scholarship, my college career would be pleasant to the fullest extent, and I would be able to focus intensely on learning, rather than stress on how I would end up paying expenses for college.”

Tonyea is a senior at Ottawa Hills High School, and she will attend Michigan State University in the fall. Tonyea plans to study accounting with a long term goal of working as a CPA and one day owning her own firm. When receiving the news that she was a finalist for this scholarship and asked what it would mean to her if she received this award, she said with an enormous smile, “It would mean the world to me and make my life so much easier. It would motivate me to pursue what I want to do in life. I am passionate about my educational goals and this would make all things possible.”

How amazing is this.  Congratulation Kaleab and Tonyea.  We’re all very happy for you.


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