An exceptional 18-year-old girl from Philadelphia, Akayla Brown, has won the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Scholarship after earning an outstanding 3.3 GPA out of the possible 4.00 points.
Akayla Brown who won the highly competitive scholarship award was among the 300 senior students selected among the 34,000 students who applied across the United States. The Bodine High School student expressed excitement to have been found worthy of the scholarship.
“When I got the letter I was in shock. I was shaking. I was jumping up and down, screaming” she told 6ABC Philadelphia.
In addition to her Bill and Gates Foundation Scholarship, Akayla Brown also gained admission into 18 universities across the United States and won many other presidential scholarships and now has more than $2 million in accumulated scholarships.
“I want to be an example to my peers and to the next generation and show them that you can make anything you want to become possible. I just live my life to the fullest. You live every day, but you only die once. And there’s no coming back,” Brown told Philly Mag.
After securing admission and scholarships to various universities in the United States, Akayla Brown decided to Howard University in Washington DC, United States to earn a degree in international business.
“I love the feeling of being around my own people and the community. In my heart, I always knew that being at a HBCU was where I belong,” she told KYW.
Akayla Brown is a versatile person who started a nonprofit at the age of 13. During her application for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Scholarship, she emphasised her goal to grow and extend her nonprofit with the help of the scholarship.
Her non-profit has hosted events for the homeless, helped with back-to-school events, and developed a turkey drive.
Speaking how she will spend her time at university, she said: “Once I arrive at Howard, I plan on bringing not only my knowledge but my nonprofit [organization] and resources [to the table]. The urban community is so powerful, but they need strong hands to guide them. I plan on being that hand and bridging the gap.”