STM Student Wins Prestigious Gates Scholarship

May 22, 2013


Saint Thomas More Senior Karina Salazar-Reyes has been awarded a 2013 Gates Millennium Scholarship, a highly competitive good-through-graduation grant which will allow her to pursue a degree in any undergraduate major at the accredited college or university of her choice. Continuing Gates Scholars may also request funding for graduate degree programs in select fields. Karina is the first Saint Thomas More student to receive the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship, and she was one of only ten students in Wisconsin chosen to receive the award.

Established in 1999 with the goal of developing “Leaders for America’s Future,” the Gates Millennium Scholars program is funded by a $1.6 billion grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The GMS Program is intended to remove barriers to education for 20,000 high-performing, low-income students. Each year, it enables 5,000 students to attend and graduate from 800 of the most selective private and public schools in the country, including Ivy League colleges, flagship state universities, and other institutions. The ultimate goal of the Gates Millennium Scholars program is to promote academic excellence by providing thousands of outstanding students with significant financial need the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Karina’s parents came to the United States from Mexico in order to give their children a better chance to be successful. Karina learned the values and traditions of Mexican culture from them, along with the importance of hard work, education, and service to the community. As a result, Karina is both bilingual and bi-cultural, characteristics she celebrates through her involvement in the Latino Student Organization at Saint Thomas More and through her active participation in traditional dance groups at school and in the Milwaukee Hispanic community. She has maintained an impressive 3.79 GPA during her four years at Saint Thomas More. Karina has also given back to her community by volunteering and mentoring students at Notre Dame Middle School and Saint Thomas More, and by volunteering at the Casa Romero Retreat Center.

Karina will use her Gates Millennium Scholarship to enroll at St. John’s University in New York City next fall. Her goal is to become a bilingual professional in the field of international business, and to return to work in the Milwaukee Hispanic community.

Congratulations to Karina!

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