Third FHS student gets Gates Millennium scholarship

Published 10:22 am Friday, May 4, 2012


Roy Boyd Jr. is the third consecutive Franklin High student to earn the Gates Millennium Scholarship. With him are Ale Massenburg, left, the guidance counselor who helped him with the application process, and Principal Rodney L. Berry. -- Stephen H. Cowles | Tidewater News

FRANKLIN—Roy Boyd Jr.’s 3.87 grade-point average and community service helped him become the third Franklin High School student in as many years to become a Gates Millennium Scholar.

“We’re very blessed” by this repeated success, said FHS Guidance Counselor Ale Massenburg.

Franklin graduate Conya Postell received the award last year, while Shaleetta Hicks won it in 2010.

As long as Boyd maintains his grades, the scholarship will cover his tuition as an undergraduate, graduate and doctoral student.

Boyd plans to study psychology at James Madison University in Harrisonburg this fall.

“I do plan on doing counseling and also may become a psychologist,” with the intention of at least earning a master’s degree, he said.

“I was definitely excited,” said Boyd about receiving the scholarship. “My mother was definitely happy.”

Boyd’s path to the award started last September.

“I decided to apply when Ms. Massenburg encouraged me, and so did my mother, Rosa Boyd,” he said.

The application required proof of his grades, community service, leadership skills, multiple essays and obstacles he’s overcome.

“A lot of what I do is through my church, First Baptist on Hall Street,” said Boyd, who listed Bible study, vacation Bible school and youth work, which has included taking young people to sing to the elderly during the holidays.

Boyd had the lead in the recent school production of “Godspell.”

One of his personal challenges was the death of his uncle, Woodrow Rogers, two years ago.

“He was more like a father to me,” said Boyd, who helped care for Rogers when he lived with the family.

The scholarship program, which began in 1999, was started by a $1 billion grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.