Camleback HS Helena Silva-Nichols Earns the Gates Millennium Scholarship

Posted by Community Relations on 5/3/2016

Helena Silva-Nichols has already been named a National Merit Scholarship Commended Student, a National Hispanic Recognition Scholar and a Hispanic Heritage Gold Youth Award winner in Innovation and Technology, but the biggest prize is earning the Gates Millennium Scholarship.     She is contemplating attending either Stanford, Harvard, Yale or MIT.   She is completing her third year as a Barrow Neurological Institute neuro-oncology intern   working six hours a day, while maintaining a 4.894 weighted grade point average. She wants to major in neuroscience or cognitive science with hopes of becoming a Ph. D. in that field. Helena attended Bioscience her first three years, and her mother, Monica Nichols is a Spanish teacher there. 

The Gates Millennium Scholarship, offered by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is one that Phoenix Union has become quite accustomed to. Since 2007, there have been 36 awarded to our students, including 22 in the last four years. This year, so far, we have two students receiving the Gates.

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.