Gates Millennium Scholars show others the ropes
BY NOUR HABIB World Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
10/17/12 at 7:48 AM
Learn more about the scholarship: Read about the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, read profiles of Gates scholars, and find the application.
More than 60 Tulsa-area high school students and their parents filled the auditorium of the University of Tulsa's Tyrrell Hall on Tuesday evening for a workshop about the Gates Millennium Scholarship.
The workshop was the brainchild of Shaliah Thierry, a TU senior majoring in finance.
"I'm really passionate about the Gates Scholarship because I wouldn't be here if it weren't for it," she told the attendees.
The scholarship, which is funded through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, provides a full ride to 1,000 low-income, minority students who qualify through grades and leadership across the country each year. It pays for everything that has not already been covered by government aid or institutional scholarships.
TU Assistant Dean of Admission Casey Reed said Thierry approached her last fall about hosting a workshop for high school students.
"She wanted people to see that it was possible to earn" the Gates scholarship, Reed said.
Reed was impressed that Thierry was willing to give her time to present the workshop, "to no advantage to herself."
Last year's workshop went well, so Thierry decided to hold another one this year.
On Tuesday, Thierry and four other Gates Millennium Scholarship recipients walked the students through the application. Page by page, they read the questions and told the attendees how each of them had answered them.
Thierry said she included her role as a youth group leader at her church in an answer about leadership responsibilities, explaining that the answers do not have to pertain to school.
Chelsey Collins said one of her answers to that question was that she is the oldest child in her family and that she was a leader to her siblings.
"There is no (one) right answer," Thierry told the crowd.
As the Gates Scholars talked, the audience listened attentively, some taking notes on iPads or notepads.
"This is so wonderful," said Trish Littlejohn. "It tells you step-by-step what you need to do."
Littlejohn's daughter, Webster High School senior Jasmine Calvert, agreed that it is helpful to hear from people who actually filled out the applications and earned the scholarship.
Union High School senior Bianca Herrera was attending the workshop for the second year to refresh her memory before applying. She said hearing from Gates Millennium Scholars is helpful because they know what the foundation is looking for in a candidate.
Herrera's mother, Grace Herrera, said it would be wonderful if her daughter receives the full-ride scholarship.
"Financially, our family situation would not affect her," Grace Herrera said.
Alan Brown attended the workshop with his grandson, Edison Preparatory School senior Jaiman Peters.
"I think it's excellent," Brown said. "Any student from anywhere needs an edge."
The information presented in the workshop gives attendees an advantage in applying, he said.
Laura Luke, another Gates Millennium Scholarship recipient who is studying psychology at TU, said she was happy with the turnout and thinks the workshop went well.
"I hope they learned skills that they can apply not just to Gates but to other scholarship applications, as well," she said.
Luke said she plans to hold the workshop again next year, after Thierry has graduated.
Collins, a TU freshman studying biology, attended the workshop last year as a high school student and then received a Gates scholarship. She said it was helpful to hear directly from scholarship recipients and that she was happy to participate in the workshop this year.
"I really appreciated the girls who did it last year," she said. "If I can do the same thing for other people, that's good."
Twelve Gates scholars attend TU. Other recipients who participated in Tuesday's workshop are Fallon Carey and Brianna Dick.
Original Print Headline: Unlocking gates to success
Nour Habib 918-581-8369
University of Tulsa students Shaliah Thierry (left) and Laura Luke talk about their experiences in successfully applying for the Gates Millennium Scholarship during a workshop for potential applicants and their parents at the University of Tulsa on Tuesday. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World
With fellow University of Tulsa student and Gates Millennium Scholarship recipient Laura Luke at her side, Shaliah Thierry addresses potential applicants and their families about what to expect when applying for the full-ride scholarship Tuesday. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World
University of Tulsa senior Shaliah Thierry (left), who also led a workshop last year on applying for a Gates Millennium Scholarship, joined with other TU recipients - Laura Luke, Fallon Carey, Savannah Thomas and Chelsey Collins - in leading a similar workshop for prospective applicants Tuesday evening. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World