Nogales grads Alberto Jeronimo, Maria Ortiz and Kimberly Cardenas have been named Gates Millenium Scholars. (Photo by Gina Ward, Courtesy of Rowland Unified )
They’re thinking doctorates. While other high school graduates are considering bachelor’s degrees at local colleges, three Nogales grads are planning advanced degrees at the best universities in the world.
The three have been named Gates Millennium Scholars. The program selects 1,000 talented students every year for a scholarship to the college of their choice. The prestigious scholarships pay for tuition, books and meals, as well as travel assistance to visit their families.
“I want to become a doctor – now I can afford to go to college and then medical school,” said Alberto Jeronimo of West Covina. “I’ll be studying premed at Berkeley.”
The 18-year-old comes from an immigrant family. Alberto was inspired to succeed by his father, who came here from Mexico to make a better life.
“We couldn’t have done this without our counselor (Sara) Hall,” Alberto noted. “She wrote our nominations and recommendations, helping us through the scholarship process.”
The Nobles had to write nine essays to become Millennium scholars. They also had to have a minimum 3.33 GPA, though many like Alberto have a 4.5. All three Nogales teens are candidates for International Baccalaureate Diplomas and rank in the top 10 of their graduating class.
“This means more than just going to college for me,” explained Kimberly Cardenas of La Puente. “I will be the first in my family to attend an American university.”
Read more in Rich Irwin’s story GATES.