The Gates Millennium Scholars Program is a wonderful example of philanthropy in our society that recognizes need but rewards merit. Putting their money where their mouths are when it comes to the issue of improving the lives of others through the pursuit of education, Bill and Melinda Gates initially funded the program with a private investment through their foundation of one billion dollars. Since that time in 1999, this money has been used to pay for university through the terminal degree for one thousand students annually. The idea is to make certain that our country develops its most valuable resource: talented, young men and women who will provide intellectual leadership in their chosen fields far into the future.
After all, Bill and Melinda Gates certainly recognize it is the ingenuity and drive of individual Americans that has made the United States a global market leader. It is the ability of each citizen to capitalize upon his or her talents that has allowed for the creation of American corporations like Microsoft that, through innovation, literally change the course of human events.
However, most exciting in 2012, I must say, is the fact that so many students who have received this highly competitive scholarship are from Cobb County. Amazingly, three will graduate from South Cobb High School, which is located in Austell. Miss Amber Hubert, Miss Uduak Obot, and Mr. Chinoso Ogojiaku have all been a part of South Cobb's prestigious magnet school program for science throughout their entire high school careers. Their accomplishments are surely a testament to the rigor of the secondary education they have received at South Cobb, but I'm also certain their teachers would say their success should be mostly attributed to their individual dedication and drive.
Other Cobb scholarship winners are Tayo Akigbogun and Summer Ford from Campbell High School, Murillo Rodrigo from Pope, and Dorothy Stearns from Kennesaw Mountain.
Congratulations should go to each Gates Millennium Scholar for a job well done.
May each take full advantage of this opportunity as they move confidently beyond their high school years into the futures they have earned, into the dreams they will turn into realities.
Regardless of where they attend school--places as far afield as Ohio State and Johns Hopkins--it seems certain they will continue to make their families, themselves, and Cobb County proud.