Education

Two PSJA ISD Seniors Awarded Prestigious Gates Scholarship

Two seniors from Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD have been selected as recipients of the prestigious 2018 Gates Scholarship. Antony L. Guzman, from PSJA North Early College High School, and Luis Gonzalez, from PSJA T. Jefferson T-STEM ECHS, are the recipients of the Gates Scholarship, which will pay their entire university career and post-graduate education.

The Gates Scholarship is a highly selective, full scholarship for exceptional, Pell-eligible, minority, high school seniors. Students are selected based on their strong leadership, community service and academic achievements. Starting in 2018, the scholarship will be awarded to 300 top student leaders each year with the intent of promoting their academic excellence through college graduation, and providing them the opportunity to reach their full potential. With the launch of this program in 2017, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation continues its long-standing commitment to helping outstanding minority students who come from low-income backgrounds realize their maximum potential.

In addition to graduating from high school in May, both Guzman and Gonzalez will be graduating with Associate Degrees from South Texas College in Mathematics and Engineering, respectively.

“Receiving the Gates Scholarship makes me feel validated,” said Guzman who will be attending Dartmouth College this fall and double major in Computer Science and Japanese. “I am so grateful to my family and all my teachers and counselors for always going above and beyond to inspire us to pursue a higher education.”

In addition to being selected as a recipient of the Gates Scholarship, Guzman was named a 2018 Dell Scholar and a QuestBridge Finalist. While at PSJA ISD, Guzman has been an All-Region Orchestra member and actively involved on campus as a Calculus Mentor, National Hispanic Institute member and Senior Class President.

Gonzalez expressed excitement for the scholarship and shared the impact it will have on his post-secondary education. The first-generation college student credits his success to the preparation he has received at PSJA ISD.

“PSJA ISD helps students succeed both in and out of school with the resources they provide,” said Gonzalez who will be attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) this fall. “I have been able to succeed thanks to the Early College Program and the numerous extracurricular activities offered on campus.”

While at PSJA ISD, Gonzalez has worked under the guidance of University of Texas Rio Grande Valley physics professors Dr. Nicholas Dimakis and Dr. Eugene Smotkin to co-author two extensive fuel cell research papers that will be published by the American Chemical Society. In addition, he is actively involved in numerous rigorous UIL activities including Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Number Sense and was inducted into his school’s National Honor Society. Among his many accolades include being named a QuestBridge Finalist and honored with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s National Engineering and Mathematics Youth Award alongside Disney/Pixar’s “Coco” star Anthony Gonzalez for serving as inspiration to Latino youth at a special reception on Capitol Hill recently.

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