Meet Gates Millennium Scholar x Entrepreneur: Leandra de Labastida, GMS 2005

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Meet Leandra de Labastida, Gates Millennium Scholar, Class of 2005 Social Agenda Co. Leandra de Labastida  is a Project Manager by trade and an event planner by passion. She believes in creating weddings and events that become memorable experiences.  Her passion for event planning began while she was attending college in San Francisco, CA, where she […]


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Meet Gates Millennium Scholar x Entrepreneur: Cecilia Corral, GMS 2008

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Meet Cecilia Corral, Gates Millennium Scholar, Class of 2008 CareMessage Cecilia Corral  is the Co-Founder and VP of Product at CareMessage. Driven by her experiences growing up in a low-income immigrant household, Cecilia takes a patient-centered approach to product development with a relentless focus on user research. Outside of her work at CareMessage, she is an […]


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Meet Gates Millennium Scholar x Entrepreneur: James Li, GMS 2009

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Meet James Li, Gates Millennium Scholar, Class of 2009 Mighty Health James Li  is the Co-Founder and CEO of Mighty Health, a highly personalized, at-home digital health coach that uses AI and behavioral science to help people with heart disease change their daily habits, improve their health, and reduce their risk of costly future cardiac events.Previously, […]


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Meet Gates Millennium Scholar x Entrepreneur: Aroona Toor, GMS 2010

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Meet Aroona Toor, Gates Millennium Scholar, Class of 2010 Muslim Women’s Professional Network Aroona Toor is a Co-Founder and the Executive Director of the Muslim Women’s Professional Network (MWPN) and an incoming Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) student at the George Washington University, Milken Institute School of Public Health. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Public […]


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Meet Gates Millennium Scholar x Entrepreneur: Frank Romo, GMS 2008

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Meet Gates Millennium Scholar x Entrepreneur: Frank Romo RomoGIS Enterprises/Detroit Developers Group. Frank is a real estate developer, urban planner, and community advocate working to positively impact the urban landscape. He is the CEO and founder of RomoGIS an IT consulting company working to advance the greater good through the use of innovative technologies


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Meet Gates Millennium Scholar x Entrepreneur: Durecia Moorer, GMS 2007

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Meet Durecia Moorer, Gates Millennium Scholar, Class of 2007 Managing Partner & Chief Marketing Officer ABCD & Company Durecia Moorer is an entrepreneur, international speaker, and strategic marketing advisor. Moorer, a Managing Partner, serves as Chief Marketing Officer at ABCD & Company. In her post, Moorer has oversight of business development, marketing strategy, and strategic partnerships. […]


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Meet Gates Millennium Scholar x Entrepreneur: Jomari Peterson, GMS 2004

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Meet Jomari Peterson, Gates Millennium Scholar, Class of 2004 The Digital Reserve BridgIt Jomari Peterson has significant experience in the Blockchain space as one of the founding members of the Quantum Resistant Ledger Blockchain. He helped to delivered a 10x return as the Co-founder for the Quantum Resistant Ledger, leading to a $100 Million+ Valuation. As […]


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Meet Gates Millennium Scholar x Entrepreneur: Dr. Cristina Leos, PhD

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My Health Ed, Inc (Real Talks)Dr. Cristina Leos, PhD, a 2009 Gates Millennium Scholar  is a behavioral scientist, entrepreneur, and design thinking expert leveraging technology innovation to improve adolescent health. With degrees from Stanford University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she has spent nine years investigating lifestyle, behavioral, and technological interventions […]


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Bo Shimmin: Musician and Fulbright Winner of 2019

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As a vocal performance major at DePauw University School of Music, Bo Shimmin reaches beyond standards and limitations of performing arts through leadership. His diligence led him to become a recipient for an English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. While the other 4 recipients of DePauw will teach at Thailand, India, […]


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Leader in Medicine: Dr. Latoya Beatty

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At  at the age of three, Latoya Nicole Beatty already knew she wanted to become a doctor. Through public health and medicine, Beatty’s ultimate goal is to be active in the community through her career and mentorship. As a Gates Millennium Scholarship recipient, Beatty obtained her Bachelor’s of Arts degree at UNC Chapel Hill, a […]


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Analyzing Race and Education: Dr. Luis Urrieta

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When analyzing education, Dr. Luis Urrieta, Jr, Professor of Cultural Studies in Education at UT Austin and Gates Millennium Scholarship recipient, is a professor not afraid to bring the truth. Through his curriculum, his students identify how inequality creates barriers to minorities’ education. Professor Urrieta’s course discovers the power structures that were placed in the […]


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Meet Anita Kiteau-Tuiaki: Higher Education Researcher for Pacific Islanders

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It was in college where Anita Kiteau-Tuiaki, Tongan EdD student identified her passion for making a difference in people’s lives. During her undergraduate years at the University of Utah, through student affairs, student government, and student housing, Kiteau-Tuiaki knew she wanted to leave an impact on students and guide them into elevated leadership and higher […]


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Heart of Gold: Sonny Khan the Gates Millennium Scholar and Entrepreneur

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Through hard work and dedication, Sikander “Sonny” Khan knew he wanted to delve into medicine or business  in order to help people in need.“I really wanted to find an opportunity where I could help people, because I saw what business could do from the visions that I had for it and my father had for […]


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Robert Lee: Gates Millennium Scholar and Hero for the Homeless

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A true leader looks out for those in need, and Robert did just that. New York University’s Stern School of Business Graduate and Gates Millennium Scholar, Robert Lee is the co-founder and CEO of Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, (R.L.C.)Shortly after graduating college, Robert landed a job at JP Morgan, while launching Rescuing Leftover Cuisine part-time. Taking what […]


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Still I Rise: Meet Kiana Davis, Gates Millennium Scholar and Extraordinaire Leader

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Born and raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, Kiana Davis won the Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholarship (GMS)  and graduated from Barnard College in New York City with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Committed to discover ways to successfully help others overcome childhood adversity, she’s currently obtaining a masters in public health at Emory University.


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Gates Millennium Scholars Alumni Association: Building and Leaving Legacy!

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In 1999, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation established the Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) program a $1.6 billion grant to promote academic excellence and provide an opportunity for outstanding minority students with significant financial need. In one decade, thousands of GMS recipients completed undergraduate and graduate education, and there emerged a desire to connect this body. Thus, with support from the Gates Millennium Scholars Program Staff, The GMS Alumni Association (GMSAA) was established in 2009.


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Meet Quinnton Harris, Brand Designer and Gates Millennium Scholar

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Web Experience Designer, Storyteller, and Photographer, Quinnton Harris is one of a kind. Though he graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, his passion later directed him towards brand marketing. He became the first Creative Director at Blavity, a tech company focused on creating content for African American millennials. Additionally, he was able to explore his talents in companies like Bevel and Form Beauty.


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Gates Millennium Scholar and Journalist Wins Prestigious Truman Scholarship

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Written by Mashari Grissom“Mass Communications in itself is one of the most competitive fields to land a job or opportunity in,” stated by many scholars and graduates throughout the world who delve into media careers. But with fear, comes faith, take Thomas Manglona II, for example. For the first time since 2013, a UC Berkeley […]


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See How These Gates Scholars Aimed To Serve For The Greater Good

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While many students shy away from hard work during their spring vacation, a growing number of young adults use their spring academic recess to embrace community goals aimed to serve a greater good. Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) are known to be selected based on the strength of their academic achievement and demonstrated leadership skills, yet acceptance […]


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Meet GMS Alumna Cinthia Manuel: Pathway Leader for Diversity Initiatives

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  Cinthia Manuel, Director of Emerging Leaders for Portland Leadership Foundation is a founding member of the Gates Millennium Scholarship Alumni Association (GMS). In 2015, she acted as the Vice President of the Alumni Association until 2017. Before she became a GMS Scholar in 2001, at the age of thirteen she moved to the United States […]


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Ricco Wright

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Ricco Wright (GMS Cohort 2000) Tulsa, Oklahoma native Ricco Wright (GMS Cohort 2000) is dedicating his time, talent, and treasure to rebuilding “Black Wall Street”, the name given to Tulsa’s Greenwood District in the early 20th century.  The area earned the moniker because of its prominence as a thriving center of African-American entrepreneurship and wealth […]


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De’Von Jennings

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Robert Carter III (GMS Cohort 2000) De’Von Jennings (GMS Cohort 2012), a current doctoral student at UC Irvine in Civil Engineering (Transportation Systems Engineering), received the Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship, the National GEM Consortium GEM Fellowship, and the Pacific Southwestern Region 9 UTC Fellowship. Jennings recently presented research at the 98th Transportation Research Board […]


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Robert Carter III

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Robert Carter III (GMS Cohort 2000) Robert Carter III (GMS Cohort 2000) (Lieutenant colonel, U.S. Army) is a medical scientist specializing in trauma and injury related research. As an adjunct professor, Dr. Carter has taught numerous courses in nutrition, human performance, health and human disease, genetics, and bioethics at several universities. Dr. Carter has a […]


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Kristine Osuna

Post Kristine Osuna wasn’t the first in her family to go to college. However, by the time she was looking at colleges, the recession had hit, and like many others across the nation, it affected her family. Kristine's father was the one to find the GMS scholarship, and pushed her to apply for it.   Kristine [...]
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Alannah Atauvich-Callahan

Post Alannah Atauvich-Callahan graduated from the University of Oklahoma with both a Bachelors and Masters Degree.  Ms. Atauvich-Callahan has worked for the United States Census Bureau.  Alannah is currently considering a Doctorate or professional level degree. 1. Describe your parent(s) and how they inspire you? My parents are actually my grandparents. When they got married, they [...]
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Rachel Watson

Post Rachel Watson is currently a junior at the University of Central Oklahoma. Rachel is majoring in History with a minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Rachel is also the current president of the Student Alliance for Equality, which is one of the largest LGBT+ and allies on-campus organizations in the state of Oklahoma. Rachel actively serves [...]
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Jerry Bruno

Post Jerry Bruno is Special Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner for Family Services at New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS). The mission of DHS is to prevent homelessness when possible and to provide short-term, emergency shelter for individuals and families who have no other housing options available to them. As Special Assistant, Jerry supervises [...]
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Lan Troung

Post As a GMS scholar (2005) and since high school, Lan Truong has pursued the study and research of ethnobotany, the scientific study of the relationship between plants and human cultures. Truong earned degrees in botany, with specialization in ethnobotany (University of Hawaii at Manoa, Bachelor’s; City University of New York – Lehman College, Master’s). Today, [...]
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Zane Zook

Post My name is Zane Anthony Zook, a halfy (half Japanese and half American) born in Japan and raised in Bellevue, Washington. My dream is to become an astronaut. For as long as I can remember (I even have yearbooks from back in kindergarten confirming this) I have wanted to go into space. I went through [...]
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Sami Birmingham-Babauta

Post Hafa adai!  Sami is from the Northern Mariana Islands. She received the Gates Millennium Scholarship in 2011, becoming the first GMS scholar from her home island of Saipan. Sami recently graduated with her Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology from California State University, Northridge. It was there that she watched her very first rugby game, mustered [...]
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Brian Oh

Post Brian J. Oh is currently a Master of Arts candidate at Loyola Marymount University studying Urban Education with a focus in Education Policy & Administration. He comes from the Los Angeles region, where he attended Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) public schools from K-12. From there, his passion in education started, where he found [...]
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Christina Ly

Post Dr. Christina Ly graduated with a Ph.D. in Public Health with a concentration in Behavioral Sciences and a minor in Epidemiology from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health in Austin, Texas, where she is also currently a postdoctoral research fellow. During her postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Ly is currently [...]
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Ngoc-Tran Vu

Post Ngoc-Tran Vu identifies as a 1.5-generation Vietnamese American transnational and multimedia artist, organizer, and healer. She was born in Sài Gòn, Việt Nam and grew up in Boston. Tran received her MA in Arts and Politics at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and her BA in Ethnic Studies and Visual Arts at [...]
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Alumni Perspective: Aarón Villarreal on “Being an Inaugural Scholar”

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Alumni Perspective: Aarón Villarreal on “Being an Inaugural Scholar” Being a Gates Millennium Scholar has afforded me numerous opportunities.  I am currently completing my third year of doctoral studies, and am concurrently writing my dissertation.  GMS has positively impacted my educational endeavors in numerous ways.  First, they have assisted me financially and academically.  Through the […]


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Are You Thinking About Graduate School?

Post As the Senior Relationship Manager for the Alumni program I often get questions about graduate school. I get these questions from brand new alumni, as well as alumni who have worked for a few years, have been on deferment and are now considering going back to school, both funded and non-funded areas. I hope to answer [...]
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Why College Is Worth It

Post Why College Is Worth It Many high school students think of college as the ticket to a bigger salary, and statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau show a strong relationship between a college degree and earnings. But higher potential earnings are only the beginning of the benefits. Surveys show that people with a college education [...]
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