2 Chester students awarded Gates Millennium Scholarship

CHESTER, Pa. (WPVI) -- Two high schoolers in the Chester Upland School District have earned prestigious scholarships compliments of Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife.

Kamri Staples and Justin Platt, two seniors at the STEM Academy at Showalter High School, have been named Gates Millennium Scholars.

The rest of the students in the 'Student Success Center', all 11th graders, are considered Gate Millennium eligible and are hoping to follow in their footsteps.

"So it's not that Chester is barren or just has two students, we have plenty of students who are eligible and willing and are hungry," Stem Academy Principal Alexis Greaves said.

Kamri Staples is hungry indeed. She's maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout high school, is student government president, and captain of the high school tennis team.

"I'm going to Cornell University in the fall. I'm going to major in biological sciences with a concentration on neurobiology on a pre-med track. I really want to be a neurosurgeon," Staples said.

Kamri has made this a family affair. Last year, her brother was a Gates Scholar and earned a full scholarship to Brown University.

The Gates Millennium Scholarships funded by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are awarded annually to outstanding minority students with significant financial need.

They cover all tuition, room and board, wherever the student chooses to attend college and can continue all the way to PhD programs.

Kamri and Justin have little time for much social activity; neither is on Facebook.

"No, I actually don't (miss it) because it gave me a chance to experience life and work. So you just keep pushing yourself and pushing yourself." Platt said.

Justin will attend Xavier University of Louisiana in the fall to prepare to become a cardiologist.

Kamri and Justin will soon be notifying the Gates Foundation of their college choices, but first, they have a prom to prepare for on May 22nd.

They're going together.
Copyright © 2020 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.