A Fontana High School senior with dreams of working in medicine is one of just 300 students in the country to receive the 2018 Gates Scholarship, covering all expenses of her academic pursuits at UCLA.
Alexandra Ortega – a high-achieving AP scholar and student-athlete with a 4.63 GPA – plans to study biochemistry before going to medical school and becoming a doctor.
“I love helping people and working in medicine is a way to make a difference in the lives of others,” Ortega said. “Healthcare is universal, because everyone needs it at some point, so this seems like a way to make a big impact.”
First awarded in 2018, the all-expense-paid scholarship is offered by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates Scholarship will be given to 3,000 minority high school seniors over the next decade, funding the full cost of college not already covered by other financial aid and the expected family contribution determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
“It can be stressful to figure out how to pay for college, so I am very grateful to receive this scholarship,” Ortega said. “I’m very excited to be able to focus on getting my degree and working toward my goals.”
To be eligible, students must also be Pell Grant-eligible, maintain at least a cumulative weighted 3.3 GPA, enroll in a four-year college or university and demonstrate leadership ability and exceptional personal success skills, such as perseverance and service to community.
Ortega’s desire to help others is well-known on the FoHi campus and community, where she is a member of the California Scholarship Federation, Key Club and the Fontana Conservation Club. Ortega is also a four-time varsity cross country and track athlete and volunteers at her church in her free time.
“Congratulations to Alexandra Ortega for winning the well-deserved Gates Scholarship,” Fontana Unified Superintendent Randal S. Bassett said. “We are proud to have students like Ms. Ortega who strive to reach new levels of excellence and make the world a better place.”