Chevak: Kyla Fermoyle

“I GOT IT!!! I GOT IT!!!”

  • Boating on the river
  • About to send the Gates application
  • Pressing the Submit button!
  • It's done! I did it!
  • My mentor Jeanne Campbell and me
  • Talking with Dean Wariner in Hawaii on Skype
  • Celebrating with Mary Pingayak
  • We both submitted Gates Scholarship applications
  • I am happy and proud of myself

Kyla Fermoyle is a Senior at Chevak High School and a 2014 Gates Scholarship winner. Her mentor is Jeanne Campbell.

Anchorage Daily News story: Chevak students win ‘million-dollar’ Gates scholarships

KYUK story: Two Chevak Students Win Gates Millennium Scholarships

Press Release: Three Alaska Students Receive Gates Scholarships

  • Mary Pingayak addresses her class
  • Proud graduate Kyla

2014 Gates Millennium Scholarship Applicant Experience Questionnaire

1.  How did you hear about the Gates?

I heard about the Gates Scholarship from Jeanne Campbell. She came up to me and told me that my GPA meets the requirements for the Gates Scholarship. She also told me about how it would help me a lot in college. That it would pay for everything in college.  Then Mary Pingayak told me that she was also going to apply for the scholarship because her GPA also met the requirement.

2.  What made you decide to apply?

Well I looked up the scholarship and read about it. It’s a really big scholarship that would pay for everything in college, and I want to be a doctor.  A doctor needs at least a masters degree which is about six years of college. So I took it on and started.

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?

When I first read through all the details I thought to myself that it looks hard but I can do it. I knew I could do it because I knew I could ask for help from people who support me and that I finish what I start. At first I had help from Tad Bartimus and Dean Wariner who helped me through the whole scholarship. Then as it got harder I got help from Jeanne Campbell and family and friends.

4. Why did you undertake such a huge effort? Where did you start?

I started this because I knew I am going to need help financially in college and because I knew that I could finish it. I started out with the essays because they were going to need the most work and effort. Then when I was finished with all my essays I worked on the first twelve pages.

5.  What was your favorite essay question? Why? What was your least favorite essay question? Why?

I had two favorite essays, the subsistence essay (No. 5, Leadership) and the yuraqing essay (No. 7). It was so easy to write about what I love and I thought they were beautifully written also. After I wrote them I noticed how much I knew and how much I can teach, that I can carry on our traditional ways and help keep my culture going.

6. Please state in detail, including their name(s), the help you received from your teacher(s), counselor(s) and any mentors.

I had a lot of help from Tad Bartimus and Dean Wariner, they helped me through all the essays and helped me notice how much good I do, and that I am a great, useful, and important person who people depend on. I also had help from Jeanne Campbell, who gave me a place to work and let me stay on track. Then I had help from my dad, he taught me so much by making me who I am today, by giving me responsibilities and understanding when I couldn’t take them on. Also, all family and friends who told me that they are so proud of me.

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?

I think I had all the help I needed. I had support from a lot of people and all I needed to do was ask and I got the help from who ever I asked.

8. Did you do your very best? Please explain in detail what, why and how you managed to do your best with all your other commitments.

Yes, I did my best. Well I thought about this like a chore, something I needed to do. When I don’t do something I need to do there is always a consequence. With chores it was being grounded and cleaning until everything was spick and span. With school it was a bad grade, which my dad looks down upon, and never wants to see them. With this it is regret. I am proud of myself that I did this till the end, and made it.

9. Do you expect to win the Gates? If so, why? If not, why not?

Yes, I do. I really hope I get the Gates scholarship because I think I deserve it. I am going to make positive impacts in my community, family, and myself. I am going to come back to Chevak a doctor and help out my village and be successful. I will work really hard and I have been working really hard for this (Gates) and to go to college.

10. Was all the hard work worth the effort? If so, why? If not, why not?

Yes, because in the end I was more confident in myself. Even if I don’t get the scholarship I am proud of myself. I never really knew how much I did until I start doing the essays. I looked at myself through my own eyes and I am beautiful. I am already proud of myself and so is all my family and friends.

11. Do you recommend other students like yourself apply for the Gates? What advice would you give future applicants?

I would recommend it to all students. I would tell them all to get good grades and then apply because it helped me a lot already. That it would not only help them financially but give them a chance to actually look at themselves and be proud  of themselves also. It would make them notice how much they think they deserve and how hard they are going to work for what they know they want.