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May 22, 2012

Gates Millennium Scholars Make Manual Arts Proud!

The Gates scholarship reduces financial barriers for African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American and Hispanic American students with high academic and leadership promise and significant financial need.

Manual Arts High School seniors, John Mendoza and Adedamola Tombrown have been awarded the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship.  John and Adedamola are the very first students from Manual Arts High School to ever receive this honor.  In the fall, John will to attend the University of Southern California and Adedamola Tombrown, the University of California, Irvine.

These incredible seniors are part of 1,000 students selected nationally each year for this highly competitive scholarship that requires strong academics combined with school and community involvement.  Earlier this year, more then 24,000 students applied, the largest and most competitive group of candidates in the program’s history. Having two first time Manual Arts High School recipients in such a competitive climate represents the collective support and resources provided to John and Adedamola by their families, teachers and school community.

The Gates scholarship reduces financial barriers for African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American and Hispanic American students with high academic and leadership promise and significant financial need and helps increase the representation of these target groups in the disciplines of computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health and the sciences. The award renews each year as long as students maintain satisfactory academic progress.  Graduate school funding continues for Gates Millennium Scholars in the areas of computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science.

In addition to scholarship funds, there are several programs and activities that have been designed for the recipients as resources, to assist them with continued development as a leader and to allow them to connect to the Gates Scholar community in a variety of ways.  These programs and activities will be essential to John and Adedamola as they matriculate through undergraduate and graduate school.

John Mendoza, who is the youngest of seven children and an all city Colonel for Manual Arts’ Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) expressed that he can now transform the college going culture within his own family and continue to serve as a role model for his 26 nieces and nephews. He plans to major in engineering with a minor in business administration and pursue a career in construction management. 

Adedamola Tombrown and his family relocated to the United States from Nigeria on a visa lottery just so he could pursue robotics.  His family’s first stop in the US was on the East Coast. However, upon further research of distinguished robotics programs, they relocated to South Los Angeles in order for Adedamola to attend Manual Arts High School. With the support of his family and his mentor, Mr. John Santos, Adedamola is the lead programmer for the Manual Arts Robotics team that recently placed top ten in the worldwide robotics competition. Tombrown plans to study computer science and complete his PhD studies in AIDS research.

Please join LA’s Promise in congratulating John Mendoza and Adedamola Tombrown!  Their hard work and discipline has truly paid off and prepared them for the most exciting and challenging times of their lives.