Carl Hayden HS Esther Avila Rodriguez is a Gates Millennium Scholar

Posted by Community Relations on 5/13/2015

Esther Avila Rodriguez is a Gates Millennium Scholar. She is only a junior and will be graduating a year early with the class of 2015. With a weighted grade point average of 4.75, she is number one in the junior class and #4 in the senior class. Esther has been a member of the Falcon Robotics team, serving this year as the project manager. Among the clubs she is involved in are Future Teachers Club, Math Club, Youth Healing, Student Expedition program, Be a Leader, French Club and she participated in NBC’s Education Nation initiative here in Phoenix and in New York. She also was in the school’s Drama program and played volleyball. Esther has clocked over 350 hours of community service, fundraising, tutoring and volunteering at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. She has been part of the ACE (Achieving a College Education) program with Maricopa Community Colleges, and she was in the Ivy League project, encouraging minority students to attend top universities. In fact, she is hoping to continue her education at either Yale or Pennsylvania. Rodriguez is anxious to get an early start in college, and pursue her dream of becoming a teacher or a college professor in the STEM disciplines. Her counselor says “she has Ph.D. written all over her. A true role model exemplifying education and service.”
The goal of the Gates Millennium Scholar program is to provide opportunities for outstanding minority students with financial need to reach their highest potential and increase representation of minorities in disciplines such as science, education, engineering, mathematics, public health and sciences. This program is unique in that it can be used for undergraduate and graduate degrees, room and board, fees and books, but because it supplements other funding sources, it is difficult to put a value on it. The Gates Foundation estimates that it is worth an average of $250,000 per student during his/her post-secondary career.