Southampton High School graduate chosen as a Gates Millennium Scholar
Published 9:46 am Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Malik Phillips, a member of Southampton High School’s graduating class of 2015, will receive the Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship.
This opportunity is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It aims to eliminate financial barriers for African-American, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Asian Pacific Islander American and Hispanic-American students seeking to work in or study the fields of computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics or public health and the sciences.
“To be chosen as a Gates Millennium Scholar is a tremendous honor,” Phillips said. “I knew the chances of being chosen were slim considering that it is a national scholarship and they only choose 1,000 students.”
Over 57,000 students graduating in the Class of 2015 applied for the scholarship nationwide.
“The fact that I was chosen is completely mind-blowing,” he added. “The entire application process and selection was hectic, but to be chosen has been an amazing privilege.”
Phillips will attend the University of Virginia where he will study human biology, with the goal of becoming a pediatrician.
“I hope that I will be able to volunteer at free clinics and health awareness workshops,” Phillips said. “Since I was fortunate enough to be chosen for this scholarship, I feel that it is my responsibility to give back to the community that has assisted me in becoming the person and scholar that I am today.”
“I cried tears of joy upon receiving notification of Malik’s award,” Phillps’ mother Chiquita Seaborne said. “He has dreamed of becoming a pediatrician since he was a child. As a single mother, I knew that supplying the finances for this career choice would be difficult—not impossible—but difficult. The Gates Millennium Scholars Program has eliminated the financial obstacle, and for that I will always be grateful.”
Phillips would like to encourage more students from the Franklin/Southampton area to apply.
“Any student that fits the criteria should apply. There’s no excuse not to apply,” he said.
“This is an opportunity not many students take advantage of,” said Millie Gardner, the senior guidance counselor at Southampton High School. “There are many sources of help to complete the process. I would encourage students to talk to their counselors and apply to this scholarship, and in fact, apply for more scholarships in general.”
Phillips added that for those wanting to apply to be a Gates Scholar, the application is quite long and that hopefuls should begin the process in August in order to turn in the best application possible.
He has applied to be an ambassador for the Gates Millennium Scholars Program so that he will be able to return and assist future applicants.