Jeromey Chad Beaman, of Woodland High School, and Khadijah Tisdale, of Henry County High, are among 88 graduating seniors in Georgia who have been named winners of the 1,000 Gates Millennium Scholarships awarded to pupils in the Class of 2012.
The scholarship was established in 1999, and was initially funded by a $1 billion grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates is the owner and co-founder of Microsoft computers corporation.
Graduates in the Atlanta area ranked as the third-highest section in the country receiving the academic, and need-based scholarships with 22, and half of them were shared between students in Henry County Schools and Clayton County Public Schools.
The winners from Clayton County are: Aaron Jones, of North Clayton Comprehensive High; Nguyet Mai, of Morrow High; Vicorie Brown, of Mount Zion High; EnRico Green, of Lovejoy High; Markell Green, of Lovejoy High; Kaamilah Wilson, of Blackstone Academy in College Park; D’Andre Waller, of Lovejoy High and Michael Oyeyemi, of Riverdale High.
The Gates Millennium Scholarship pays for the total cost of attending college, including tuition, books, fees, room/board, living expenses, at any university, and for any major for undergraduate school. The scholarship program potentially offers a scholarship for graduate studies as well.
“The Gates scholarship means my dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon can be realized,” said Beaman. “My mom has been saving money for college since I was in elementary school, but even those savings would only cover a year of college,” he added.
“I am extremely proud of my son and even more so thankful to God for this tremendous blessing. ... To God be the glory,” said a grateful mother, Daphnie Brown-Beaman.
Like the other scholarship winners, Beaman is an example of hard work, and dedication to learning. He singled out two teachers — Dr. Patsy Faulker, and Jamie Harris — for the extra support they provided him in English and math, respectively. He is now ranked 13th in a class of 372 at his school in Stockbridge, and has maintained a 4.1 grade-point average. He is a member, and president, of various honor groups at his school.
“Without the scholarship, I would not be able to attend my dream school,” said Beaman. He plans to make a choice between Morehouse College, the University of Georgia, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa in order to pursue an undergraduate degree in neuroscience or biology.
Beaman is the second person to win the Gates scholarship at Woodland High. Last year, Mikeisha Oldson won the scholarship. She now attends Agnes Scott College, in Decatur.
“She is the one that told me about the scholarship,” added Beaman.
Oldson, like other scholarship winners, said she realized the full impact of what the scholarship does for students, especially when she listens to the struggles of her college peers.
“It wasn’t until I saw friends struggle to pay for college while I never thought about it [the costs],” explained Oldson.
Johnny Jackson and Peter Scott contributed to this report.