“Ms. Anderson or Tad and Dean didn’t have to help me, but they saw the potential in me. I pushed myself because I know that this scholarship will help me achieve my goal.”
Alexis Wagner is a Senior at Metlakatla High School and a 2014 Gates Scholarship applicant. Her mentor is Kathy Anderson.
2014 Gates Millennium Scholarship Applicant Experience Questionnaire
1. How did you hear about the Gates?
I heard first heard about the Gates Millennium Scholarship when one of my friend’s sister’s was awarded this scholarship. I think she was the first and only student from Metlakatla to receive the scholarship.
2. What made you decide to apply?
I wanted to apply because I know that money is tight in my family and this would relieve them of the financial strain of college. This scholarship is going to give the opportunity of a lifetime. I will be able to go to college wherever I want without having to worry about the costs that come with it.
3. How did you feel when you first read through all the details that would be required of you? Did you start doing the application on your own, or did you have help from a parent(s), teacher(s), counselor(s), friend(s), or did you begin the process totally on your own?
I was a bit overwhelmed at first, but from the beginning I knew that the scholarship would require a lot of work and time. I started the application on my own. Later on I started to get help from my teacher when starting my essays.
4. Why did you undertake such a huge effort? Where did you start?
I undertook such a huge effort because I knew it would be worth it in the end, especially if I was awarded the scholarship. I started with my essays. I knew if my essays were near perfect, I had a good shot at winning.
5. What was your favorite essay question? Why? What was your least favorite essay question? Why?
My favorite question was the short and long term goals one. I liked it because I was able to share how I wanted to make a difference in the world. I was able to tell what I’d go to college for and how I would use the degree I obtain. My least favorite question was what subjects do you excel in. I didn’t like this question because I didn’t want to come off as arrogant and stuck up.
6. Please state in detail, including their name(s), the help you received from your teacher(s), counselor(s) and mentors.
My teacher, Ms. Anderson, was a huge help with my application for this scholarship, she introduced me to the help that Tad Bartimus and Dean Wariner offer. They helped me re-write and re-write my essays until they were perfect. Ms. Anderson also went over the entire application for imperfections.
7. Do you think you could have received more help? Why do you think you did not get it? How can this situation be changed to give more help to future Gates applicants?
There is always room for improvement. I feel that I have gotten the best help there is available. Ms. Anderson or Tad and Dean didn’t have to help me, but they saw the potential in me. I received the best help possible.
8. Did you do your best? Please explain in detail what, why and how you managed to do your best with all your other commitments.
I did the best to my ability. I put the time in that was necessary. Even during my Christmas break I was Skyping with Tad and Dean. I pushed myself because I know that this scholarship will help me achieve my goal of going to a good college without the financial strain.
9. Was all the hard work worth the effort? If so, why? If not, why not?
All the hard work was definitely worth it. I know I tried my hardest with my essays and filling out the application. Now I just have to play the waiting game and see if it all works out. I know my hard work will pay off though.
10. Do you recommend other students like yourself apply for the Gates? What advice would you give future applicants? Would you be willing to help the juniors get started this year?
Yes, anyone that is eligible for the Gates Millennium Scholarship should apply. For future applicants, I recommend that you should keep your grades up and start thinking about your essays early. I would be willing to help if they needed it.