When Cooper High School senior Samuel Ogunyemi opened his mailbox last week, what he found was a free ride to college. Ogunyemi, who has been participating in Admission Possible’s free after school college prep program for the past two years, is one of 20 Minnesota high school seniors to receive the Gates Millennium Scholarship. The award, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, covers all expenses for an undergraduate degree at the college or university of the recipients’ choice, and even the cost of a doctorate degree in some fields of study.
When he opened the letter, Ogunyemi was overwhelmed. “It said, ‘Congratulations, Samuel,’” he recalls. “I said ‘wow’ for at least 30 minutes. Just ‘wow’ over and over. I showed my mom, and she was jumping up and down. It felt good.”
Originally from Nigeria, Ogunyemi moved to Minnesota when he was 10. “My parents wanted me and my brother and sister to get an education in the Unites States,” he said. “They said if you get a degree here, you can go anywhere in the whole world.”