SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A Santa Barbara High School senior was a recipient of the prestigious Gates Scholarship, having been selected by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation last month.
Larry Bermudez received the scholarship and plans to study mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley, according to Melissa Davenport, development officer for the Santa Barbara Education Foundation.
Bermudez is a member of Mission Scholars, which is a selective program dedicated to helping high-achieving, low-income students maximize their college success potential, Davenport said.
Bermudez is a top student at Santa Barbara High School, and the scholarship provides a full ride to the recipients' college of choice.
“It means so much for me and my family,” he said. “Not needing to worry about any financial issues relieves a lot of stress.”
The application process includes multiple essays and a personal interview, and is "notoriously rigorous and time-consuming," Davenport said.
Mission Scholars helped with the application process, as it draws on the wide-ranging expertise of its staff and local volunteers to give the Scholars equivalent resources to their peers.