Gates scholar completes first seminar requirement
Thursday, May 10, 2001
Lacey, Wash. - Carlos A. González, the Saint Martin's College
recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, recently returned
from the first seminar for the program with information to help him and
other minorities excel in college.
a sophomore studying international relations and business administration
at Saint Martin's, attended the first Gates Millennium Scholarship
seminar in March.
Bill and Melinda Gates created the Gates Millennium Scholars Program
with a $1 billion pledge from their foundation in 2000. Approximately
$20 million in educational assistance will be distributed amongst
minority recipients over the next 20 years. Their goal is to develop a
diversified force of future leaders for America by facilitating
successful completion of bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees by
economically disadvantaged African American, American Indian/Alaskan
Native, Asian/Pacific American and Hispanic American students.
Saint Martin's College is a four-year Roman Catholic, coeducational
college offering liberal arts-based programs leading to associate's,
bachelor's and master's degrees. Nearly 1,500 students are enrolled at
the main campus in Lacey, Wash. as well as its extension campuses at
Fort Lewis Army Post and McChord Air Force Base. Approximately 4 percent
of the college's population is Hispanic/Latino.
"Bill Gates noticed that the population of minorities in America was
growing really fast but he also noticed that many of them weren't
getting a college education," González said of the creation of the
program. "And he realized that most of the time financial barriers
caused this discrepancy."
González was one of 4,000 students chosen to be a member of the
start-up generation of scholars. Nearly 62,000 students submitted
applications to the program. Applicants were selected based on
exceptional academic promise, significant financial need and leadership
González, whose family is living in Toppenish while he is in school,
is originally from Los Fresnos, Michoacán, México.
Scholars are required to attend yearly seminars while in the program.
The first seminar served to educate scholars on census information and
provided them the opportunity to meet other student leaders from around
the nation who were also admitted to the program. While there, González
joined in on discussions about barriers that minorities have at their
respective colleges and universities and what can be done to improve
"Attending these seminars once a year will help us see what is
working and what is not," González said. "We actually have the
opportunity to improve the program since we are the first generation of
the 20-year program."
By the year 2020 minorities in America are predicted to be almost
half of the country's population, thus González will be graduating from
the program around the same time that the minority population he
represents is booming.
"Being a member of the first generation of the program creates a
tremendous responsibility to do my best so this program can be
productive for subsequent scholars," González said.
For more information:
Christina Ramírez-Milhoan, communications specialist
Saint Martin's College Office of Communication