The current batch of Million Dollar Scholars have officially selected the universities they will attend after they graduate, announcing their choices Tuesday night in an event called Decision Day, hosted by the Million Dollar Scholar program and Marianas Young Professionals at the Hyatt Regency Saipan.
According to Gerard Van Gils, founder of the Million Dollar Scholars program, 43 students participated in the Million Dollar Scholars program this year and all 43 announced the school they applied for and have been accepted to.
“We have 43 scholars who are…going to attend a total of 14 different colleges, trade schools, and universities in the United States, including our very own NMC,” he said.
This year’s batch of scholars is the biggest the program has seen so far. Van Gils said it is about double the number seen last year.
“In previous years, we sent 20 kids per year from our club and this year we have more than double. In years to come, we hope to grow even more,” he said.
Million Dollar scholar Meillene Ferrer plans to attend Northern Marianas College to pursue her higher education and gain college experience without having to rely on student loans.
The Million Dollar Scholars provides mentoring, social support, and, in some cases, financial support, but the goal is to connect high school students to resources that are available through different government or non-profit organizations.
Aside from Ferrer, the other scholars who announced the institutions they will attend after high school are: Frances Santos (Western Oregon University), Bella Semens (University of Hawaii at Manoa), Charmel Shrestha (University of Hawaii at Manoa), Eugene Villagomez (Dixie State University), Johnson Atalig (University of Guam), Rose Ann Bichayda (Washington State University), Marijean Fernandez (Dixie State University), Kayla John (Washington State University), Morzina Khan (Adamson University), Angel Legaspi (Boise State University), Danielle Pineda (Eastern Oregon University), Tiava To’omata (Dixie State University), Tifanny Cayading (Kapiolani Community College), Marian Danga (Eastern Oregon University), Janelle Lavetoria (University of Guam), Cerijean Mangubat (Northern Marianas College), Isabel Palacios (University of Guam), and Janice Rabauliman (Northern Marianas College).