Bill and Melinda Gates began a scholarship fund in 1999 aimed at outstanding minority students. More than 35 students from the El Paso area were awarded Gates Millennium scholarships this year.

Clarissa Ronquillo, a senior at Loretto Academy, was the only student from Loretto to be awarded the scholarship. She said her parents wish for a good education was her motivation for going after the prize.

10 students from Socorro Independent School District made history as the largest number of students from that district to be awarded the scholarships. Those students are: from Socorro High School; Miguel Martinez and Eduardo Arzabala; from Eastlake High School; Dina Torres from Mission Early College High School; Felipe Palacios and Julian Franco from Americas High School; and Aibhlin Esparza, Parrish Feimster, Jordan Lopez, and Miguel Moya from El Dorado High School.

Eight Ysleta Independent School District students will benefit from the prize – they are: Miguel Martinez and Victoria Calzada from Bel Air High School; Roberto Portillo and Lucia Nishizawa-Rodriguez from Del Valle High School; Kalia Pannell from Parkland High School; Desiree Delgado from Riverside High School; Amanda Bustos from Valle Verde Early College; and Andrea Aguirre from Ysleta High School.

Cathedral High School has 14 Gates Millennium scholars: Daniel Barrio, Sebastian DeLaCruz, Daniel Fernandez, Cesar Garcia, Matthew Hallmark, Pablo Herrera, Sebastian Horcasitas, Anthony Nava, Esteban Orozco, Cameron Paredes, Victor Portillo, Tony Reynoso, Roberto Ruiz, and Fabian Yepo.

EPISD students who were awarded the scholarship include: Bowie High school’s Taryn Medina and Natanael Garcia; Idaly Sifuentes from Irvin High School; Luisa Herrera from Burges High School; Diego Contreras from Chapin High School; Diana Herrera Goudeau and Geraldine Cisneros from El Paso High School.

Congratulations to all the recipients of this prestigious award!