Wiliam, a recent graduate of Sussex Central High School in the Indian River School District, is one of 300 high school students from around the United States that have been named Gates Scholars in 2019. William and the other winners were chosen from a pool of more than 36,500 applicants across the nation.
The Gates Scholarship is a highly selective, full scholarship for exceptional, Pell-eligible, minority, high school seniors. As a recipient, William will receive a full-ride scholarship for the entire cost of attending college, except for the part that is already covered by other sources of financial aid or the family’s expected contribution, which is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The foundation also helps ensure that scholarship winners have access to the resources they need throughout college. William will be attending the University of Chicago in the fall of 2019. He was accepted into several selective colleges including Wesleyan, Grinnell, Colgate, and Emory University. William participated in the Delaware Goes to College Academy (DGCA) —a partnership between TeenSHARP and the Delaware Department of Education— where he received college advising and application support throughout his senior year.
As a DGCA student, William and his family worked closely with TeenSHARP DGCA Director, Kim Lopez, on selecting the colleges he would apply to, preparing applications to those colleges, reviewing and negotiating financial aid, and applying to opportunities like the Gates Scholarship.
“There are many students like William in our state, but most are unfamiliar with the vast opportunities that exist for them. We are working to level the playing field by giving students access to information and assisting them in this highly confusing process. We have spent time this year in schools such as Glasgow High, Dover High, Polytech, William Penn, Sussex Central High and I have been' encouraged by the enthusiasm for pursuing higher education," said Kim Lopez. William is the second DGCA student to be selected as a Gates Scholar since the program’s inception in the summer of 2016. Mikayla Purnell, an alumna of the Brandywine School District, is currently a rising sophomore at Swarthmore on a Gates Scholarship. The Delaware Goes to College Academy program was designed to help talented low-income youth gain admission into 4-year colleges that are a good academic match and to attend college on the best financial terms possible. With its blended model – an in-person 4-day boot camp in each county and online support – the program aims to provide 500 students across the state with high-quality college admissions advising and support this summer at no cost to the student and their families. This year’s DGCA boot camps will kick off on June 15th-20th in New Castle County, June 23rd-26th in Sussex County, and June 27th-30th in Kent County. Through the Delaware Goes to College Academy, participants will have consistent access to expert college advisors who will be prepared to respond to any questions they have within 24 hours. DGCA is still accepting applications from rising high school juniors and seniors. Students, particularly those who are from low-income families, who will be high school juniors and seniors and who have a 3.0 GPA or above are encouraged to apply at www.tinyurl.com/dgca1819.
About TeenSHARP: TeenSHARP is a regional organization headquartered in Wilmington, DE that is on a mission to prepare talented low-income, African American, and Latino students to attend and thrive at the nation’s top colleges. This mission is in service of a bold vision that one day the diversity of those occupying our nation’s highly-skilled jobs and highest leadership positions will be as rich as the diversity of our population. Founded in 2009, TeenSHARP has evolved into a leading provider of innovative, at-scale college access and success support in the Delaware Valley region (including Delaware, Philadelphia, and southern New Jersey). TeenSHARP has achieved incredible results over the last ten years: 100% of TeenSHARP scholars successfully pursue a 4-year college education, with 95% of the scholars being admitted to selective college and universities every year.