Senior Honored As Gates Millennium Scholar

May 10, 2012

Punahou senior Kristy Huang has been selected for the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholars Program, earning a good-through-graduation college scholarship highlighting her leadership ability and community service.

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Kristy is one of 1,000 high-school seniors nationwide chosen from among more than 24,000 initial applicants, the largest and most competitive pool in the history of the program, which was founded in 1999. Along with a full-ride scholarship to the school of each recipient’s choice, the program provides leadership-development opportunities, mentoring, and academic and social support, and distinguishes each honoree as a Leader for America’s Future.™ After earning an undergraduate degree in any discipline, Gates Scholars may request funding for graduate school, as long as they study computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science.

Kristy, who will attend Princeton University in the fall, has excelled in a variety of academic and extracurricular activities at Punahou. She is an inaugural member of Punahou’s Clarence T.C. Ching PUEO Program, volunteers at Punahou’s Luke Center for Public Service and is a leader of the YWCA’s Youth Network.

She has taken on a growing number of leadership challenges as she’s risen through the Academy, including organizing a college fair at Roosevelt High School last fall that engaged and informed public school students and their families about the array of resources available for higher education. Long active in community service, Kristy has spent countless volunteer hours promoting the importance and value of a college education for all students.

Kristy is interested in exploring many different subjects at Princeton, including math, physics, philosophy and sociology. She expressed gratitude to everyone who has helped her on a path to success, and pledged to continue helping others.

“As Dr. Scott says, ‘To whom much is given, much is expected.’ I am fortunate to have so many opportunities open to me, including the Gates Millennium Scholarship, and I will do my best in the future to give back to the communities that have so greatly supported me,” she said.

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the GMS Program removes financial barriers to college for minority students of high potential but limited means. Kristy, whose parents emigrated from Vietnam, is the first member of her family to attend college. Her hopes are high and her future is wide open as she heads off to Princeton, intent on continuing the outreach that helped make her such a distinctive Gates candidate.

“Community service is just part of who I am. I love it.”

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