MCFARLAND, Calif. - A thousand students are selected every year for the opportunity to attend college for free. The Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholarship is helping in that effort, and one of this year's winners comes from Kern County.
In a few weeks, Daisy Ramos will be a high school graduate, and on her way to one of the best ivy league schools in the country, Yale University.
"It's a little intimidating because it's so different than anything I ever experienced before. It's exciting, too," she said.
Ramos is the first at McFarland High School to be awarded the Gates Millennium Scholarship. She's also the first in her family to attend college, a dream her parents always wanted her to achieve.
"All my life they've been telling me that the only way I'm going to get a better life, the only way that I can set an example for everybody else is by working hard and putting school first," said Ramos.
Samuel and Olga Ramos have spent more than twenty years working in the fields, providing for their young family.
"We've tried to be an example for our children, teaching them responsibility and with hard work, anything is possible," said Samuel Ramos.
To be considered for the scholarship students have to submit a teacher evaluation, a summary of community service and 9 essays all on different topics.
The scholarship allows Ramos to attend Yale free of charge and gives her parents some financial relief.
"Its something a parent dreams of having for their children. We're very proud of her and we know she worked hard to accomplish this scholarship," said Olga Ramos.
Ramos plans on studying political science or neuroscience. Leaders at McFarland High School say she's opening the doors for other students to follow in her footsteps.
"When you hear things like this about your students, I think this when you realize okay I'm in the right field and knowing she has a potential and now that she has the opportunity there's no doubt in my mind that she's going to be doing something great," said teacher David Tarula Chavez.
Students interested in the Gates Millennium Scholarship Program are invited to apply online.
The application process for next year begins August 1st.
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