By Kyle Holland, LA’s Promise
Manual Arts High School seniors, John Mendoza and Adedamola Tombrown have been awarded the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship. Both are the very first students from Manual Arts High School to ever receive this honor.
Mendoza, the youngest of seven children and an all city Colonel for Manual Arts’ Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) will attend the University of Southern California. He plans to major in engineering with a minor in business administration and pursue a career in construction management.
“I can now transform the college going culture within my own family and continue to serve as a role model for my 26 nieces and nephews,” says John.
Tombrown will go to the University of California, Irvine. He 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 U.S. was on the East Coast. They relocated to South Los Angeles in order for Adedamola to attend Manual Arts High School.
“With the support of my family and mentor, Mr. John Santos, I can achieve my goals,” says Tombrown, who is the lead programmer for the Manual Arts Robotics team that recently placed top ten in the worldwide robotics competition. He plans to study computer science and complete his PhD studies in AIDS research.
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.
More then 24,000 students applied earlier this year, 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, Hispanic American and other minorities that have high academic and leadership promise and significant financial need.
The scholarship 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.
Please join LA’s Promise is 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.