Jobs for the Future celebrates the achievements of 18 early college high school students who have been named Gates Millennium Scholars and will receive full-tuition scholarships to any accredited college or university of their choice, for both undergraduate and graduate education. The awards go to 1,000 high-performing students of color from low-income families annually to help remove barriers to postsecondary education.
The early college students selected for these prestigious scholarships illustrate the dramatic success of their innovative secondary schools at expanding college, career, and life prospects for youth from underserved backgrounds. Early college combines high school and college in rigorous, yet supportive environments that propel students to earn an Associate’s degree or significant college credit by high school graduation—at no cost to their families.
As national coordinator of the Early College High School Initiative launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2002, JFF and our partners have created or redesigned 280 early colleges, serving more than 80,000 students. JFF is currently expanding its Early College Designs to 56 new schools that will serve over 50,000 additional young people.
“We’re happy to see that early college schools are enabling historically underrepresented students to achieve at the high levels recognized by the Gates Millennium Scholars Program,” said Dr. Joel Vargas, Vice President and leader of JFF's High School Through College team. “These schools were designed to bridge more students of color and of lower-income into higher education, and the scholarships will continue to support these early college students into college and beyond.”
Early college students named 2014 Gates Millennium Scholars, listed by state and school, are:
- Harbor Teacher Preparatory Academy (Wilmington)—Josephine Akingbulu and Jinwoo Kwak
- Booker T. Washington Early College High School (Atlanta)—Malcolm King
- Carver Early College High School (Atlanta)—Shariff Lee-Brown
- Akron Early College Academy (Akron)—Travon Terrell
- The Charles School at Ohio Dominican University (Columbus)—Abadula Wako
- Brownsville Early College High School (Brownsville)—Jorge Rocha
- Clear Horizons Early College High School (Houston)—Angel Maredia
- East Early College High School (Houston)—Tuyet Nhi Tran
- El Paso Early College (El Paso)—Monique Davis and Alexandria Holden
- Impact Early College High School (Baytown)—Pablo Chavez
- Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Early College High School (Pharr)—Antonio Hernandez
- Thomas Jefferson STEM Early College High School (Pharr)—Josue Cuellar
- Travis Early College High School (San Antonio)—Selena Portillo
- Valle Verde Early College High School (El Paso)—Isaac Bautista
- Victory Early College High School (Houston)—Carlos Alvarez
- Academy for Math, Engineering and Science (Salt Lake City)—Rebecca Bromley-Dulfano
The Gates Millennium Scholars Program is funded by a $1.6 billion grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The program provides recipients with leadership development, mentoring, and academic and social support, as well as financial support. “Investing in underserved students helps close the achievement gap, foster our next generation of leaders, and strengthen the nation’s economy,” Vargas said. “We are thrilled that the Gates Millennium Scholars Program has given these students such a wonderful opportunity to continue the college education they started in high school.”
A recent JFF report summarizes the success of early college students, about 73% of whom are young people of color and 61% come from low-income families. Key findings include:
- 90% of early college students graduate high school vs. 78% of students nationally.
- 94% earn college credit in high school vs. about 10% of students nationally.
- 30% earn an Associate’s degree or other postsecondary credential along with their high school diploma vs. very few students nationally.