Posted April 30, 2012
Bill de la Rosa is one of 1,000 talented students nationwide to receive the Gates Millennium scholarship in 2012. The scholarship provides full funding through graduate school.
"I see this like a once in a life time opportunity, knowing that I will be secure financially for the next four to eight years of college," says de la Rosa. "The generosity of Bill and Melinda Gates is a gift from God to me that I will benefit from and be responsible for. I know that God has great plans for me and I will make sure to prepare myself to serve others through the degrees I will receive from my education."
De la Rosa's notification letter stated that his "accomplishment is especially notable in context of the more than 24,000 students who applied, making this year's the largest and most competitive group of candidates in the program's history."
De la Rosa has been accepted to Bowdoin College, a nationally renowned college of liberal arts and sciences in Maine. After earning his bachelor's degree, he plans to attend Harvard Law School, with the goal of using his law degree to assist families unable pay for legal representation.
Since his freshman year, de la Rosa has been one of the top five students in his class. He is currently valedictorian, with a 4.12 GPA. He's achieved his academic success in spite of family hardship, providing care for his father and siblings during his father's illness.
Pueblo High counselor Teresa Toro says that de la Rosa "has made being smart a 'cool' status on our campus. He is very popular among his peers and is highly regarded by his teachers. He is constantly talking to students about the need for them to do their best and be their best."
Toro states, "I am beyond proud for Bill and his accomplishments. He is a true example that no matter what life throws at you that you cannot make excuses for not succeeding. He has such high standards, walks the talk, and is still so down to earth and loved and respected by all of his peers and faculty. I have such high regard for him that I asked him to be the peer mentor for my son, who is a current freshman at Pueblo Magnet High School. He is truly deserving of this most generous award by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation."
To complete the circle of giving, De la Rosa's goals include establishing his own foundation to provide scholarships to future students.
TUSD senior Elena Luevano from Tucson High Magnet School has also been named a 2012 Gates Millennium Scholar.
More information about the scholarship is available at gmsp.org.