Two Butte College Connection students Karen Vang and Noukoushua Yang have been selected as 2010 Gates Millennium Scholars.
The two Oroville natives who chose to spend their final high school year at Butte College are enrolled in the College Connection Program, completing both their high school academic requirements while simultaneously earning 22 college credit units, are among this year’s cohort of 1,000 students to receive a Gates Millennium Good-Through-Graduation College Scholarship, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and administered by the United Negro College Fund.
Since 2004, eight Butte College Connection students have been selected as recipients of the Gates Millennium Scholarship.
Vang, an Oroville High senior, and Yang, a Las Plumas High School senior, both 17 and both of whom maintain high grade point averages, will have their education expenses covered while in college, as long as they continue to maintain satisfactory academic progress.
“Being enrolled in the College Connection Program really did help me get this scholarship,” said Yang, whose older brother was a recipient of the scholarship two years ago.
Yang’s post graduation plans include attending the University of California, Los Angeles where he plans to study biology.
“I hope to study genetics. My goal is to work in food engineering or in finding cures for medical illnesses,” he said. “Without the Millennium Scholarship there is no way, even with loans, that I would be able to attend UCLA. I am very excited.”
For Vang, receiving a Millennium Scholarship is becoming a family tradition. The second youngest among 13 siblings, Vang is the sixth member of her family to receive a Millennium Scholarship.
“It’s very exciting. I know that being involved in the College Connection program made a big difference in earning this scholarship. The program really helped me get very serious about taking important steps toward my future college life,” she said.
Vang’s post secondary education plans include majoring in environmental science at California State University, Chico.
“I am also leaning toward becoming a teacher because I have had so many good teachers who have made such a great impact on my life—and I want to give that back,” said Vang.
In addition to their studies, both Vang and Yang work for the Butte County Office of Education as tutors at Nelson Avenue School in Thermalito.