Two Wayne students named Gates Millennium Scholars

Kylee Nelson and Irving Salinas, both seniors in the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township, have been named Gates Millennium Scholars for 2015. It is the second straight year that two of the district’s students have been granted this prestigious and coveted scholarship.

Irving is a senior at Ben Davis High School and Kylee is a senior at Ben Davis University High School. Last year, Derrick Moore and Michael Araya, both seniors at Ben Davis High School, received the scholarship.

The Gates Millennium Scholarship covers expenses at any accredited college or university in the United States. The scholarship also funds master’s and doctoral level studies. Only 1,000 of these scholarships are granted nationwide each year. In 2014, Derrick Moore and Michael Araya won two of only three Gates Millennium Scholarships earned in the entire state of Indiana.

Both of this year’s MSD Wayne recipients say they’re thrilled.

“I received an email at my internship site with the subject line: ‘Congratulations Gates Scholar,’” Irving said. “I had to leave for a walk since I was at work and couldn’t scream.”

Kylee was also at work when she received her news, so, she said, “I had to contain my excitement a little bit.”

Irving plans to study economics and finance at Butler University. Kylee plans to attend the University of Tampa and study international relations. She would also like to join the Peace Corps.

Kylee and Irving, who both attended Ben Davis Ninth Grade Center, have taken two different pathways to success in MSD Wayne. Irving attends Ben Davis High School, which has nearly 3,000 students in grades 10-12. Ben Davis High School offers 40 different clubs, more than 20 AP classes, and more than 30 different athletic teams.

Kylee attends Ben Davis University High School (BDU), the district’s early-college high school. BDU has fewer clubs and extra-curricular activities than Ben Davis High School, and a student population of just over 350. The school has had a 100-percent graduation rate for four straight years, and the vast majority of its students earn not only their high school diplomas, but two-year associate’s degrees from Vincennes University as well.

“The fact that our district has produced two Gates Millennium Scholars once again this year illustrates one of our points of pride, which is the multiple pathways we provide for student success,” said MSD Wayne Superintendent Jeff Butts. “These two students have worked hard and have received great support from their teachers, administrators, and community. The future is extremely bright for Kylee Nelson and Irving Salinas.”