JENKS, Okla. — Three Jenks High School seniors have earned full, four-year scholarships to prestigious universities.
Viranda Kwok, Caleb Mangesho and Langh Guite were recognized as Match Scholarship Recipients through a national nonprofit called QuestBridge.
QuestBridge connects some of the most exceptional, low-income students with leading institutions of higher education. Over 6,000 finalists were selected out of around 16,500 applicants to be considered for the QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship.
The scholarships will cover the full cost of tuition, room and board, books, supplies and travel expenses.
Selected students have an average GPA of 3.93, 92% are in the top 10% of their graduating class, 95% come from a household with an annual income under $65,000 and 87% qualify for free or reduced-price school meals. The majority of the 2021 QuestBridge Scholars are the first generation in their families to attend a four-year college in the United States.
After a lengthy process of applications and essays the JHS students are among the 1,674 students from across the country who were named Match Scholarship Recipients.
All three of the scholarship recipients are first-generation Americans.
Mangesho has been accepted to Yale University, calling it a moment he will remember for the rest of his life, “I cannot believe this amazing gift I’ve been given.”
“Coming from a low-income family, it has always been a goal to do well in school and earn a scholarship but going to Yale is something I never could have dreamed. Opportunities like this are once in a lifetime,” he said. He plans to study English and Pre-Law.
Kwok will go to Vanderbilt University and is considering civil or mechanical engineering, “I was wondering how I was going to pay for college, but now I can go without any worries or any debt.”
“I can just go there and fully explore my interests. I’m so glad I went through the QuestBridge process, and I can’t even express how amazing it is to have this opportunity,” Kwok said.
Guite, whose parents fled Burma when Guite was three years old and lived in Malaysia before making their way to Tulsa, is on his way to Coalgate University.
“My family is really proud,” Guite said. “I wasn’t sure college was a possibility for me because I knew it would be a financial burden for my parents. I’m so happy to be able to life that burden off their shoulders. I haven’t traveled much outside of Oklahoma, so I’m excited to experience a new place with new people, and I’m so grateful to QuestBridge for making this happen.”
Guite says his dream job is to be a diplomat, is considering a major in international relations with a minor in business when he gets to Coalgate.
“Not only are these students brilliant, but they are also kind and hard-working,” College Counselor at Jenks High School Paula Dennis said. “All of them supported each other throughout this process, and it truly brings tears to my eyes to see them rewarded with these scholarships. Each one of them is so deserving of this opportunity and I know they will make the most of it.”
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