Mason senior Christina Holman won the Gates Millenium Scholar Award on April 18 meaning that she is completely funded for college throughout her Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees at any college she chooses-- essentially a “free ride” scholarship.
The Gates Millennium Scholarship (GMS) is a scholarship program that includes conferences and mentoring opportunities to their scholars. There are also additional scholarships/internship available only to GM scholars.
“It really is a full network that stays with you throughout your education,” Christina Holman said. “When I found out about my selection a few weeks ago, my family and I couldn't help but celebrate.”
Only 1,000 students are chosen each year from across the country for this "good through graduation" scholarship. This year there were 54,000 applications.
The scholars are selected based on academic achievement, community service and leadership. To receive this award, Holman had to detail her community service activities and her high school grade history. She also had to write eight essays in response to different prompts and have recommendation letters sent for her by a “Nominator” and a “Recommender.”
“I found out about it while I was at an engineering summer program (MITES) at MIT last year,” Holman said. “One of the MITES Teaching Assistants is a past scholar and working on his graduate degree in, I believe, mechanical engineering.”
This very big award is one of many for Holman. She received a large grant from Wellesley College, the school she will be attending next year, and is receiving a scholarship from her church, Allen Chapel AME, and has received the Davis and Davis Scholarship from the DC National Naval Officers Association (DC NNOA). She also received several college-based scholarships such as a STEM scholarship she could have taken for $25,000, being a GWU honors student.
Holman will attend Wellesly College, the sister school of Harvard and MIT, in the fall. She will be studying engineering.
“I am planning to double major: receive a BS in Engineering from either Olin or MIT, through the school's cross-registration programs, and a BA in International Economics through its joint bachelors/master’s program with Brandeis,” Holman explained.