BALDWIN PARK – Sierra Vista High School senior Abrahan Vasquez has been selected as a 2019 Gates Scholar by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of just 300 students across the country to receive the honor and an all-expense-paid scholarship.
Vasquez – president of the school’s National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) club and an Advanced Placement student with a 4.7 GPA – was accepted to 11 universities, including USC and UCLA. He will study biology at Claremont McKenna College this fall.
“Earning this scholarship is an amazing reward for my years of hard work,” Vasquez said. “This scholarship is a sign that I’m in good hands thanks to my loved ones and God.”
First awarded in 2018, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Scholarship will be given to 300 high school seniors a year, funding the full cost of college not already covered by other financial aid.
“Abrahan is exceptional in every way – he is an exemplary scholar as well as a very active member of the community,” Sierra Vista High School counselor Abigail Villegas said. “He is extremely humble, compassionate, insightful and resourceful.”
Vasquez serves as historian for Sierra Vista’s National Honors Society and is the secretary for the Leo Club, a student-led community service group. With a natural interest in science and a passion to help others, Vasquez decided to pursue biology at Claremont McKenna for the small-town environment.
“It’s a humbling honor to be awarded this scholarship,” Vasquez said. “I know I’ll do my best to take advantage of the new opportunities it entails.”
To be eligible for the award, students must be Pell Grant-eligible, maintain at least a cumulative weighted 3.3 GPA, enroll in a four-year college or university and demonstrate leadership ability and exceptional personal success skills, such as perseverance and service to community.
SVHS_GATES_2019: Sierra Vista High School senior Abrahan Vasquez has been named a 2019 Gates Scholar, one of just 300 students across the country to receive the honor and all-expense-paid scholarship.