Three local high school seniors have been be awarded the Gates Millennium Scholarship.
Columbus High School seniors Shelby Jones and Taylor Carter, and West Lowndes High School senior Jay Little, were each awarded the scholarship. They are the first public school students from the Golden Triangle to do so.
“It’s really amazing how we were chosen,” Jones said. “We were chosen out of 53,000 other students who registered for this scholarship.”
The scholarship is given to 1,000 students in the country and pays full college tuition. For students pursuing degrees in math, science, technology or education fields, it also pays for graduate work.
Jones will attend Mississippi State University with a major in biomedical engineering and a minor in math. She plans to use the scholarship to continue her post graduate education and eventually become a dermatologist.
Carter plans to study psychology at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. She wants to stay in the Atlanta area after school and open her own practice.
Little will use his 52 college credits from East Mississippi Community College to start just three credits shy of junior status at the University of Alabama with a major in computer science. Little, who has been taking college level courses from EMCC since he was a sophomore, wants to be a software engineer. He has always loved computers and calls himself “tech support” for his family.
Little was also awarded the $50,000 Elks National Foundation scholarship, the top award nationally for high school seniors who qualify for the scholarship. He is one of 20 finalists and the only male student to receive the top award, which is given to one male and one female student every year.
Little is the first student from the Golden Triangle area to receive the scholarship.
Jones, Carter and Little — who are each in the Mayor’s Youth Council — are all excited to be the first students from their school districts to get the scholarships.
“I’m glad we were able to be a part of it,” Carter said.
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