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Da Vinci Student Named a 2015 Gates Millennium Scholar

Miguel Ceniceros Da Vinci Schools are proud to announce that Miguel Ceniceros, a Da Vinci Science senior, has been named a 2015 Gates Millennium Scholar, a nationally competitive and elite scholarship program that provides full financial support for undergraduate and graduate school programs for 10 years. Ceniceros was one of 1,000 students selected from a pool of 52,000 applicants for his stellar academic achievement, leadership skills, and commitment to community service. Ceniceros is the fourth Da Vinci student to be named a Gates Millennium Scholar.

"We are thrilled for Miguel. He has worked extremely hard and deserves this recognition," said Steve Wallis, principal of Da Vinci Science. "Our goal is to prepare all students to be college-ready, career-prepared, and community-minded. This award validates that our students can achieve at the highest level."

Ceniceros was accepted to 19 universities, including five Ivy League Schools -- Yale, Columbia, Brown, Princeton, and University of Pennsylvania, as well as Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, USC, Johns Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and more. Ceniceros will attend Stanford University in Fall 2015 and major in human biology. He is especially interested in regenerative medicine using 3D bio printed tissues and organs, an interest that was nurtured in Da Vinci's machine shop in connection with its robotics program and at SpaceX where he interned last summer. Ceniceros' future plans are to become a research physician.

"I will always remember the supportive intellectual community that Da Vinci has created. I love that Da Vinci teaches us interpersonal skills and presentation skills as much as content knowledge. It's incredible how much the educators here want students to be successful in the real world," Ceniceros said.

The Gates Millennium Scholars Program was established in 1999 and was initially funded by a $1 billion grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with a goal of providing opportunity for outstanding minority students to reach their highest potential.

A resident of the Wiseburn community, Ceniceros holds a 4.52 weighted GPA. He has never received a grade lower than an A- in any class while in high school and spends about five hours each night on homework. He has taken 21 classes for honors credit while in high school. This year he is taking four classes for dual high school/college credit. Ceniceros is a programmer for Da Vinci's Robotics Team and president of the Interact Club, a service club sponsored by the Rotary Club. In his spare time, he organizes community service events, does bookkeeping for his father's gardening business, and is teaching himself French using the Rosetta Stone program. This summer, Ceniceros plans to work alongside his parents both of whom are gardeners and to volunteer at a local hospital.

Ceniceros comes from a deeply religious and highly traditional Spanish-speaking family. He will be the second person in his family to attend college.

The Gates Program is known for its recipients' high graduation rates - a six-year rate of 88 percent (29 percent higher than the national graduation rates for all students) and comparable to the rates for students from high-income families. The program provides Gates Millennium Scholars with personal and professional development through its leadership programs along with mentoring, academic and social support throughout their college career.


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