Two Earn Gates Millennium Scholarship

Each year, the Gates Millennium Scholars Program awards 1000 scholarships nationwide to high-performing, low-income students to help them pursue a college degree and gain a competitive edge for the 21st century. This year, two Genesys Works Young Professionals, Love Chang and Hillary Lor of Central High School, were among the 19 Minnesota students named Gates Millennium Scholars. As Gates Scholars, they will receive financial assistance to cover the total cost of attendance at the college of their choice up until graduation. Below we share the stories of these two amazing students:

Love Chang
“Winning the Gates Millennium Scholarship is like a dream come true,” says Love. Since hearing about the scholarship from his brother and past scholars in elementary school, he was determined to win the scholarship. Love focused on his studies, developed leadership skills, and gave back to the community. Being named a Gates Scholar was well worth his dedication. Love no longer has to worry about how he is going to finance his education. The Scholarship puts him one step closer to achieving his goals, one of which is a college degree.

From a young age, education has always been an emphasis. Love and his family immigrated to the United States from the Thai refugee camp of Wat Tham Krabok in 2004 when he was 10. Upon arrival, Love didn't speak English; he was already years behind his American peers. His main responsibility at the time was his education - he needed to catch up. However, when his father passed away in 2008, he, along with his older siblings, had to quickly learn to take on responsibilities to help their mother run her household of eight. Love learned how to balance schoolwork with home responsibilities. His unwavering focus has allowed him to surpass many of his peers. Additionally, Love became a role model for his younger siblings by tutoring and guiding them through their class work. Despite the challenges, Love never let anything pull him down.

Love’s experience as a Genesys Works Young Professional and Wells Fargo intern has given him the skills and confidence to succeed in the professional world. Both experiences have also inspired him to pursue his goal of studying computer science and anthropology. He wishes to recreate a virtual 3D replication of the refugee camp he grew up in as a way to help preserve and share his culture. Love will be a first year college student at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities this fall.  
Hillary Lor
Last summer, when Hillary Lor told her parents that she hoped to win the Gates Millennium Scholarship, they told her that it probably wouldn’t happen and she shouldn’t raise her hopes too much. Therefore, when Hillary received a package in the mail announcing her status as a Gates Scholar this April, she could barely contain her excitement as she approached her parents with the news. Only then did she realize the timeliness of her good news. The day Hillary became a Gates Scholar was the same day she heard that her dad was laid off from his job. 

As a first-generation college student, Hillary was inspired by her parent’s transition to the United States in 1994 as refugees from Thailand and their efforts to provide the best educational opportunities for their children. Her parents’ struggles acclimating to the new culture in the United States and the countless injustices in her community related to race and socioeconomic status she witnessed motivated her interests in social justice and non-profit work. Her life dream is to start her own non-profit organization focused on health issues faced by low-income communities of color. According to Hillary, the Scholarship paired with her invaluable internship experience at Dorsey & Whitney help make her dream a more tangible possibility.
Hillary and Love pose outside a Bill Gates event at Concordia.

Through Genesys Works, Love and Hillary recently attended an event at Concordia College featuring Bill Gates, the philanthropist behind the Gates Millennium Scholars Program. Bill Gates’ knowledge and passion for his work opened Love’s eyes to the struggles of others including widespread diseases and the lack of education and health care. Love is inspired to one day be a leading figure confronting similar issues as well. Also, Gates has encouraged Hillary to believe that anything is possible, as long as she works hard for it. This fall, Hillary will be working hard at Saint Catherine University, pursuing a bachelor’s degree with the hopes of entering the health field upon college graduation.

Genesys Works is proud of the accomplishments of Love and Hillary! If you would like to host an intern like Love and Hillary, contact Program Manager Joel Crandall at today!

1 comment: