Bodine High School student Akayla Brown was selected as a Gates Scholar. She will receive a full scholarship to the university of her choice.
The 18-year-old was one of 300 seniors selected for this scholarship. There were over 34,000 students who applied for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation scholarship nationwide.
Brown plans to major in international business. The Philly resident has received more than 18 college acceptance letters. She hasn’t announced her top school yet but she revealed that her top three choices were Howard, Temple, and Villanova.
“I want to be an example to my peers and to the next generation and show them that you can make anything you want become possible,” Brown told Philly Mag. “I just live my life to the fullest. You live every day, but you only die once. And there’s no coming back.”
Scholarship Application Process
The Gates Scholarship is very competitive. Pell-eligible students from underrepresented backgrounds apply for a chance to have their entire tuition and board bill covered at any institution they choose to enroll in. Applicants must possess at least a 3.3 cumulative weighted GPA on a 4.0 scale.
Brown started her application months prior to the deadline. The application package was filled with paperwork and essays. But Brown was determined to get it done as her mom supported her during the entire process.
Gates Scholarship Will Help Expand Nonprofit Initiatives
Essays are a critical component of scholarship applications. It allows third parties to get to know a student beyond their GPA.
Brown has an impressive 4.19 GPA and is graduating third in her senior class. But her secret recipe to essay success was sharing her passion with the scholarship selection committee.
The high school senior started a nonprofit at the age of 13. During her application, she emphasized her goal to grow and extend her nonprofit with the help of the scholarship.
In 2016, Brown launched Dimplez 4 Dayz. Using her nickname ‘Dimplez’ as the inspiration behind the organization’s name, Brown’s goal is to keep the community uplifted with smiles. The organization has hosted events for the homeless, helped with back-to-school events, and developed a turkey drive. All community programs are led by the youth.