Eight metro Detroit students receive Gates Millennium Scholarships


DETROIT – This year 54,000 students across the nation applied for Gates Millennium Scholarships, eight students in the Metro Detroit area were granted the scholarships.


The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program selects 1,000 talented students each year to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice. We provide Gates Millennium Scholars with personal and professional development through our leadership programs along with academic support throughout their college career.


Written notification was sent in April to all finalists if they have been selected or not as Gates Millennium Scholars for the GMS Class of 2013. For a complete listing of the 1,000 incoming Gates Scholars, click on the News & Events link on the bottom of the GMS homepage and then on the "News" tab. 

The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program selects 1,000 talented students each year to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice. We provide Gates Millennium Scholars with personal and professional development through our leadership programs along with academic support throughout their college career.

The goal of GMS is to promote academic excellence and to provide an opportunity for outstanding minority students with significant financial need to reach their highest potential by:

Reducing financial barriers for African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American and Hispanic American students with high academic and leadership promise who have significant financial need;

  • Increasing the representation of these target groups in the disciplines of computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health and the sciences, where these groups are severely underrepresented;
  • Developing a diversified cadre of future leaders for America by facilitating successful completion of bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees; and
  • Providing seamless support from undergraduate through doctoral programs, for students selected as Gates Millennium Scholars entering target disciplines.

The Gates Millennium Scholars Program, established in 1999, was initially funded by a $1 billion grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The GMS Scholarship Award Provides:

  • Support for the cost of education by covering unmet need and self-help aid;
  • Renewable awards for Gates Millennium Scholars maintaining satisfactory academic progress;
  • Graduate school funding for continuing Gates Millennium Scholars in the areas of computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science;
  • Leadership development programs with distinctive personal, academic and professional growth opportunities.

Congratulations to these outstanding seniors:

Samuel Ekanem

Sam was born in Lagos, Nigeria and moved to the United States when he was 6.  He was raised by his wonderful mother who always attempted to provide the best that she could.  Growing up Sam enjoyed playing football most and has always been a good student.  He plans on studying Economics at Harvard University.  He is a member of Upward Bound, Football, Wrestling, MREACH, Freshman Transition Program, and Student Senate.  Sam is a captain of both the wrestling and football team. 

Akua Achampong

Akua Achampong is graduating from Detroit Country Day School this spring with a successful scholastic and athletic career. Akua boldly tackled difficult academic courses and prospered at each challenge. She has received multiple national honors, including a gold level recognition on the National Spanish Exam and she is a National Merit and Achievement Semifinalist.

Akua was a member of the field hockey and lacrosse teams, where her energy and agility were extremely valuable on the field. She has helped many of her fellow students while volunteering on the Peer Tutor Board, and her voice of reason and integrity became evident while she served on Detroit Country Day School's Honor Council during her junior and senior year.

DeAngila Jones

18-year-old DeAngila Jones is 18-year-old senior at Cass Technical High School. She tells Local 4, "For as long as I can remember, I have aspired to become a doctor. I knew this was a dream that would not come easy. With that in mind, I have worked tremendously hard. Going into high school I had many options, but I chose Cass Tech because they had my best interest at heart. During my first week at Cass Tech's freshman orientation, there were five Gates Millennium Scholar recipients and after hearing their stories, I went home and told my mom I had to get that scholarship. With this goal in mind, I began to work harder and get involved even more.

Finally, senior year came around and I began to prepare my application for the Gates Millennium Scholarship. I marked the date that the scholarship opened, August 15, 2012. I already knew what to expect, so I wrote down all of the essay prompts and began writing. With balancing school work and applying to colleges, I began to get discouraged, but with the support of my mom, dance coach, and Cass Tech family, I stayed motivated. On January 16, 2013 the scholarship application closed. After some encouraging words from my nominator Mr. Tony Hawk and recommender Ms. Donnah Laster, I submitted my application.

From that day forward, I set my screensaver with the bible verse, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding," and beneath that I had the logo of the Gates Millennium Scholarship. This was my motivation, and on March 4, 2013 I received the letter informing me that I was a finalist for the scholarship. After telling my mom, I cried and prayed about it. The next day, I sent the required documents to the office and continued to pray. My life then changed on April 17, 2013 when my mom surprised me at school with my award letter. I fell to my knees and literally cried. I then shared the news with my best friend, band directress and principal. The reaction from them was overwhelming.

As of today, I am two weeks away from graduating Magna Cum Laude and moving on to Purdue University to major in Health Sciences. I am now just 15 years away from achieving my ultimate goal of becoming a Pediatric Surgeon."

Deon Mixon

Deon C.Mixon Jr. is a lifetime resident of Detroit's East Side and senior of DPS' greatest high school: Cass Tech. His achievements throughout his academic career have been acknowledged and recognized by the most prestigious leaders in my city, state, and even country.

As the Class Salutatorian, he gives all the glory to God. He remains focused on completing the few but tedious goals he has set.. In the near future, he will become a professional graphic designer and exceptional author. His studies in graphic design will take place at the Gwen Frostic College of Fine Arts at Western Michigan University. His literary plan is to write and publish a "multi-genre" fiction novel of five books. He says his novel will not disappoint readers who are interested in the Twilight saga or the Hunger Games trilogy.  

Islam Mohammed

Mohammed Islam is an exemplary student as well as an outstanding student role model here at Fitzgerald High School. Mohammed is graduating as Valedictorian of the Class of 2013 with a cumulative 4.65 G.P.A..  Mohammed is one of seven students from FHS to attend the prestigious Macomb Math  Science Technology Center (MMSTC)  which specializes in researched based education. In addition to the academic honors earned, Mohammed has flourished as a student and community leader. As president of the FHS Chapter of National Honor Society, he has accumulated over 195 hours of community service in and around our community.  Mohammed also serves as Vice President of our Student Government as well as Captain of the Boys Varsity Soccer.

Jonathan Moore

For most people, being robbed never ends well. Southfield High School senior Jonathan Moore, however, walked away from the experience with a tearful apology from the robber, a heartfelt conversation, and a realization that he wanted to dedicate his life to help those in need. Moore was recently named a Gates Millennium Scholar, the fourth Southfield student to have received this prestigious honor in the last six years. Every year, tens of thousands of high school seniors go through a grueling application process that looks at academic records, extracurricular achievements, nominations, recommendations, numerous essays, and more. Only 1,000 applicants are chosen to receive the full ride scholarship for any university of their choice. "Jonathan Moore is a multitalented, gifted young man," said Michael Horn, principal at Southfield High School. "He's a shining example of a Southfield High School student, and we're proud of him and expect great things from him." Moore's list of extracurricular activities and achievements reads like a grocery list. He is currently the managing editor of the Southfield Jay (his high school newspaper), the president of his senior class, the vice president of his National Honor Society chapter, a mediator for Peers Making Peace, an LGBT activist, a Scholars Plus student, and a representative for the Principal's Council. Most recently, he was the first place male winner of the Southfield-Lathrup Oratorical Contest and a national winner of the Quill and Scroll Writing and Photo Contest in Editorial Writing. But during a recent interview, Moore did not dwell on the subject of his awards and school leadership roles. Instead, he talked about his desire to affect community change and his passion for political activism, which he lived out as a volunteer for the 2012 Obama campaign. "I was 15 years old when I started at Obama for America in Detroit," Moore said. "I was the youngest Fall Fellow they ever had." For the campaign, Moore also ran YouthRISE, which he explained is an organization that emphasizes outreach through encouraging young adults to register and vote on Election Day.

KeAndra Hollis

KeAndra Hollis is a senior at Detroit School of Arts with a major in Radio TV.  KeAndra is the Vice President of her senior class and has a 3.6 cumulative grade point average.  KeAndra's voice has been heard on the daily broadcast team and on the WDSA Monthly Newscast.  The newscast features upcoming events in the school and throughout Southeast Michigan. KeAndra has been featured in multiple musicals and play productions where she held lead roles that received rave reviews including The Wedding Song, A Raisin the Sun, Trojan War, The Wiz, Day of Absence and Freedom's Bird. She is also a member of the Michigan Youth in Government program where she had the opportunity to write a bill that reached the House of Representatives.  She was also in Michigan Mock Trial Competitions with other Detroit Public Schools students and her group ranked No. 1. As one of 10 students chosen from all Detroit Public Schools applicants for the 2012 Detroit Summer Finance Institute, KeAndra was selected to work with Juanita Moore, President of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and Vice President Ann Ivory Calvert.

She has volunteered at Gleaners Food Bank, Focus Hope and Cass Soup Kitchen. Her volunteer efforts also extend to anti-bullying presentations to middle school students, assisting with Mobile Dentist teeth cleaning at an all-girl's site, and she has donated to Cobo Christmas Family Giveaways.  KeAndra helped raise funding for Breast Cancer Awareness and assisted in hosting and volunteering for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration for sheltered children. She aspires to become a United States Senator and also a screen writer.

Mariah Hill 

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Mariah has attended high school at Southeastern for the past four years. She is a member of King David Missionary Baptist Church. Vice President of NHS, President of the Senior class, Vo-tech student working towards licensing for cosmetology, previously a Southeastern Majorette, and previously ran track. Mariah loves to sing dance, and help others. School: Spelman, Michigan State, University of Maryland, Wayne State, Bowling Green, University of Michigan, University of Toledo.

About the Authors: