Two Independence students receive Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - A couple of families who immigrated to the United States to give their children a better chance at a great education are being rewarded for their efforts.

Two students from the Independence Public School District are recipients of the Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship.

One thousand students were awarded scholarships, which will pay for the students college and qualifying post-graduate education. That includes tuition, room and board. More than 56,000 students applied for the scholarships.

Millennium Scholar Rungrote Athajarusith is a senior at Van Horn High School. He plans to attend the University of Central Florida.

Millennium Scholar David Daniel will be a freshman at Harvard this fall. 

Both scholars are children of parents who immigrated to the U.S. David Daniel was born in Nigeria. His parents brought him to the U.S. when he was a baby. Rungrote Athajarusith was born in America, but his parents immigrated 40 years ago with the hope of a good education and a bright future for their children.

"It's a great honor, and I believe it is a dream come true for my parents," Daniel said.

"It's the opportunity of a lifetime, and I know it makes my parents so happy," Athajarusith said,

The students were selected for their academic performance, leadership and community service.

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