Grand Lake senior wins Gates Millennium Scholarship

Ricky Richard
Ricky Richard

A senior at Grand Lake High School, Ricky Richard, is a proud recipient of the 2011 Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship.

The Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship is awarded to 1,000 deserving minority seniors in the United States every year. Twelve students in the state of Louisiana received the scholarship for 2011.

Richard is a minority student who received the scholarship based on his academic achievement, leadership skills, and community involvement.

"I have been class president of my school and I tutor kids for the ACT as well," said Richard.

The scholarship provides the recipient with a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice. The Gates Millennium Scholars will also be provided with personal and professional development through leadership programs along with academic support throughout their college career.

Richard was very excited when he heard that he was a recipient.

"I went to check the mailbox to see if I got it, opened the envelope, and didn't even close the mailbox," said Richard.

However, there is something special about how he discovered the Gates Millennium Scholarship.

"A year ago I saw a broadcast on KPLC of a girl from LaGrange who won it," said Richard.

Sierra Jackson, a student from LaGrange High School, was also a recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship in 2010. Richard said it was Jackson's story that encouraged him to apply.

"I ran to my room, looked on my laptop, found the scholarship and the rest is history," said Richard.

Richard said it is his turn to share his story with the area and inspire other students to also apply for the scholarship.

"The whole purpose of receiving the scholarship is to become an ambassador," said Richard. "This could be foreshadowing your future. If you see me doing this, then you can go do it yourself a year later and have the same story I had."

Other SWLA Gate Scholarship recipients included Princess Pete of LaGrange High School, Jonathan Thibeau of Lafayette High School, and Demarco Pitre of Opelousas High School.