THOMAS –Sandra Molina, a senior at Snake River High School (SRHS), is one of the recipients of the Gates Millennial Scholarship (GMS).
Molina is the third SRHS student in four years who has received this scholarship.
This year, 23,000 students applied for this scholarship, “so the competition was very steep,” said counselor Karen Crook. One thousand scholarships were awarded.
Crook said, “The scholarship will pay for her schooling for the next 10 years if she decides to get a doctorate degree.
“She can attend any accredited college in the U.S., Crook said.
“Sandra has worked very hard to do well in high school,” Crook said. “She is a wonderful young woman and is very deserving. We as a school are very proud of her accomplishment.”
Molina started her application process in November. For consideration this year, all applications needed to be submitted by January.
Molina was notified last Wednesday that indeed she had received the scholarship.
“I was more shocked than anything,” Molina said. “I cried for hours; I was so happy. I really didn’t expect to receive it.”
Molina is active in the Blackfoot Bingham County Youth Coalition, in her church and in her school.
She performs traditional Hispanic Folk Loric Dance whenever and wherever she is asked to perform.
“I like to run and have lots of hobbies, so it’s kind of hard to narrow it down,” Molina said.
Molina’s favorite subject in school is art. In 2010, she won the Art Congressional Award for her painting that featured a Native American and an American flag. That painting has hung in the U.S. Capitol this year.
Art teacher Jason Coles said, “Sandra has always been a wonderful student, very teachable. She works hard and does her best.
“She’s a pleasant individual to have around,” Coles said.
Molina has yet to decide what college she wants to attend. She is grateful to all the people who helped her qualify for this scholarship.
The GMS Program is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and was established in 1999. Its purpose is to provide outstanding African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic American students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education in any discipline area of interest.
Continuing Gates Millennium Scholars may request funding for a graduate degree program in one of the following discipline areas: computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science.
The Gates Millennium Scholars are also provided with personal and professional development along with academic support throughout their college career.
Some of the program's accomplishments include:
° More than 13,000 have been funded since the inception of the program.
°Obtained a 79.9 percent graduation rate in five years.
° Gates Millennium Scholars are enrolled in more than 1,500 colleges and universities.
° Graduated over 5,000 Gates Milennium Scholars since the program's inception.
°Five-year retention rate of 87.7 percent.