Two students from Mission High School (MHS) have been awarded a prestigious Gates Scholarship. The 2018 MHS valedictorian, Alyssa Garza and salutatorian, Alejandro Martinez were recently notified they were selected after an application process that began early last fall.

After applications are submitted, semifinalists are selected and from that group the finalists named move on to the next phase. The finalists that are selected then go through an interview process, which leads to the scholarship award decisions. Only 300 students in the country are selected for the Gates Scholarships.

The Gates Scholarship is a highly selective full scholarship for exceptional Pell-eligible, minority, high school seniors. According to the official Gates Scholarship website, ideal candidates will have an outstanding academic record in high school (top 10% of graduating class), demonstrated leadership ability, and exceptional personal success skills.

Garza and Martinez will receive funding for the full cost of attendance that is not already covered by other financial aid and the expected family contribution, as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Gates Scholarship indicates they will also provide further support to Scholars, by engaging with them and their institutions in a variety of ways to ensure they have access to the resources and services they need, from their first to last day of classes, through graduation and the transition to their chosen careers.

The Gates Scholarship was launched in 2017 through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.