Nigerian bags $350,000 Bill Gates Millennium scholarship

Oloruntobi Dare, a Nigerian student of Hubert Flowers High School is one of the 1000 beneficiaries to win the coveted Bill Gates Millennium scholarship worth $350,000. Oluwatobi who is a naturalized American has shown a regular display of talent and brains since her pre-school in the USA.

Oloruntobi Dare

Apart from winning the Gates scholarship, she’s won other awards including, Most Outstanding Science Student, Hubert Flowers High School, Maryland; Winner, Prince George’s Community Church’s 8th Annual African American History Essay Contest; 3rd place winner, Maryland Coalition for Gifted and Talented Education Essay Contest 2014; and Maryland Representative at the commemoration of the 70th Anniversary Pearl Harbor Day Parade.

She wrote after being selected for the scholarship –

When I passed the exam to be admitted into the Talented and Gifted program in the second grade, I did not anticipate that the instruction I would receive would impact the rest of my secondary education. I have discovered that the various TAG programs in Maryland are essential for me and my peers to develop our skills and broaden our interests before moving to each stage of schooling.

My high school’s Science and Technology program has helped me pursue my interest in the physical sciences. I have been offered classes that other students are not able to be placed in. Also, specifically in my senior year, I have been offered the opportunity to intern anywhere in my area to write a five chapter research paper and present in a symposium. I have been able to learn the skill of networking, creating a resume and portfolio, and most importantly, given the opportunity to have hands-on experience with a topic I plan on pursuing. Without my school’s program, I would not have the advantage of working with a professional scientist.

In the fall of 2014, I plan to be earning my undergraduate degree at a four-year university. I plan to major in international relations, minor in global health, and be on the pre-medical track. While in college, I hope to take on research projects on campus and travel overseas to study abroad. My long-term goal is to have a global impact in the field of health care, specifically, ophthalmology. Due to the effects I have seen that poor health care has had on my immediate family in all parts of Nigeria, that is where I plan to start volunteer work as well. As an ophthalmologist, I would like to specialize in age related macular degeneration and other age-related diseases.

Itis very difficult to pinpoint a specific teacher who has helped me develop my talents, but I believe that ‘award’ goes to Ms. A. Being placed in her African-American Studies class my sophomore year was not something I looked forward to. Her class pushed me to develop my talent for writing. After reading and researching countless iconic people in history, writing about them became more of a fun activity rather than a chore. Because of the impact Ms. A had, I find it much easier to write for my advanced placement classes as well as my college writing supplements.

If I had not had the opportunity to participate in programs for gifted and talented students, I would honestly not be as well read and motivated as I am today. With the gifted education programs, I was exposed to so many things that were way above my grade level. As a TAG student, I was fortunate to be surrounded with like-minded people who shared my interests and also encouraged me. Though I sometimes struggled, I was encouraged to keep going until I got to the last page, last problem, or final assessment. Without this opportunity, I fear that I would’ve been stuck in a stagnant state of mediocrity, especially in the area of language arts. Having gifted education opportunities in Maryland is a huge staple to an innovative and tenacious new generation.

Original write from Maryland Coalition for Gifted And Talented Education (MCGATE)   and  Ọmọ Oódua Blog

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