California Adventist Academy Graduate Wins Gates Millennium Scholarship
by AT News Team
Helen You graduated recently from Paradise Adventist Academy in northern California and is headed to Andrews University this fall with a full scholarship from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She had a perfect 4.0 grade point average, more than 400 hours of community service during her four years of secondary school and plays two musical instruments, so guidance counselor Brenda Muth encouraged her to apply for the scholarship program. “There’s no one I know that’s more deserving of this scholarship,” Muth told the Chico Enterprise-Record.
The teenager immigrated from South Korea with her mother in 2003. She knew no English at all, but learned the language within a month and by fifth grade “got her first straight-A report card,” reports the newspaper. Her mother works as a caregiver and was worried about how to pay for college because Helen had only a $500 scholarship from within the Adventist education system.
“We screamed and jumped up and down and we screamed and cried,” the mother told reporter Ben Mullin. “The thing that makes me the happiest about receiving this scholarship,” Helen said, is “to relieve my mom of the burden of paying for my college education.” Helen wants to be a physician specializing in ophthalmology because of her experience during a mission trip to Honduras, volunteering in an eye clinic for two weeks.
The newspaper described Andrews University as a school “with a minuscule student-to-professor ratio and a great academic program.” The teenager is typical of many Adventist youth from minority families in North America, helped to achieve social mobility through Christian education.