Tutoring Students for the Gates Millennium Scholarship


October 10, 2011

Northeastern University has always prided itself on its positive relationship with the Boston Community and there are many opportunities for Northeastern undergraduate and graduate students to participate in activities that help Bostonians of all ages. A great place to look for ways you can volunteer in our community, as a Northeastern student or alum, is at the Center for Community Service. MPA student, Charlotte Flemmings, who started her graduate studies this September, wrote the following about her experience helping tutor Boston High School students applying for the Gates Millennium Scholarship.

Northeastern hosted a kickoff for the Gates Millennium Scholarship on October 6th and 7th. The event provided support to help students complete the extensive application, which includes eight essays questions and is due in early January. Students at Northeastern for the kickoff event represented some of the top high- school seniors in Boston, with high GPAs and leadership positions in their schools and communities. The competitive scholarship, established in 1999 with a $1.6 billion grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, covers college costs for 1,000 high-school seniors of color each year.

Though I am new to Boston and Northeastern, when I received an email about an opportunity to volunteer to help these high school students, I was immediately interested. Prior to joining the Master of Public Administration program here at Northeastern University, I worked at a high school in Philadelphia, PA. Also, when I was in high school I heard about the Gates Millennium Scholarship but I did not complete the application because I felt overwhelmed by the process.

I did not know what to expect walking into the ballroom in Curry Student Center with the magnitude of high school students present. The coordinators from Northeastern’s Office of Opportunity Scholarship and Outreach Programs assigned the tutors to specific classrooms to help the students brainstorm for the essay questions. It was a pleasure working with the students that were in my classroom and the time went by so fast. They were bright and determined to achieve their educational and career goals.

The reason I became a tutor was to make sure that these students do not make the same mistake I did and to make sure they are given the help they need to apply for this opportunity. I want them to realize that they have the support to start and finish the application process and if they need it, I am here to give them a motivational push. I encourage others to become Gates Millennium Tutors because it is a great way to make a difference and help high school students prepare for their future.

Charlotte Flemings (MPA student)

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