Seniors Araya and Moore win Gates Millennium Scholarships

Seniors write eight essays while applying


Seniors Derrick Moore (left) and Michael Araya surround superintendent Dr. Jeff Butts while talking about the Gates scholarship each received. It is rare for one school to produce two Gates winners, which pays for all college expenses through a doctorate.

Ben Davis seniors Michael Araya and Derrick Moore have the honor of being recipients of the highly coveted Gates Millenium Scholarships.

It is extremely rare for two students at the same school to receive this award, but that has happened this year here at BD. Out of 52,000 students who applied for 1,000 Gates Millennium Scholarships nationwide, Moore and Araya are both recipients this year of this scholarship, which will cover expenses at any accredited college or university in the United States.

“I nearly jumped in the air when I saw the big package at my house,” Araya said.

The scholarships also provides funding for master’s and doctoral level studies in computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health and science.

“I was crying a little bit when I found out,” Moore said. “My mom called and said I got something in the mail and I asked her if it was a letter or a package. When she said package we both started crying.”

Araya has been accepted to three Ivy League schools (Harvard, Princeton, and Columbia Universities) along with Stanford, Duke and Johns Hopkins Universities. He will make his college decision on Wednesday. Moore has been accepted to Azusa Pacific University in California and plans to attend law school at Stanford University.

“When you hear the individual stories of the students at this school, you appreciate the value of the education they get here,” superintendent Dr. Jeff Butts said of these two. “I could not be more proud of what these two have accomplished.”

Both had to write eight essays to receive this scholarship.

“Mrs. (English teacher Shannon) Rose checked all my essays,” Moore said. “I could not have done this without the help of a lot of great teachers.”

Araya also complimented his education here.

“The extra-curriculars here are fantastic,” he said. “The opportunities here are tremendous.”