By Natalia Jamroz
North Central resident Jennifer Price-Smith was among three Bioscience High School students to receive an esteemed Gates Millennium Scholarship this year. Each of the three seniors received $250,000, made possible by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which funds the scholarship program.
“I wasn’t going to apply because I never thought I would get it, but Ms. Laffel convinced me to,” Price-Smith says. Joyce Laffel is the Bioscience High counselor.
The teen was born in China and was adopted by American parents. She is the president and founder of the National Chinese Honors Society at Bioscience. Price-Smith also is involved in student government and the National Honor Society, among other clubs at school.
“I like finding problems and fixing them,” she explains.
Price-Smith also participated in a Medical Mentorship Program through The University of Arizona College of Medicine–Phoenix. During that time she was mentored by a second-year medical student, Anchit Mehrotra, and received an inside view of what medical school at the university is like.
“She is a determined student with an incredible work ethic,” Mehrotra says.
Price-Smith also volunteered for Dignity Health—a hospital organization—and had internships with a naturopath and an acupuncturist. She plans on attending the University of California San Diego and pursuing a career in medicine.
Price-Smith was among five students from the Phoenix Union High School District who received the coveted Gates Millennium Scholarship (GMS).
“We look for students who give back and extend Bill Gates’ legacy,” says Kelley Reed, an outreach coordinator for the Gates Millennium Scholars Program. “Students must show leadership, take rigorous courses at school and partake in community service.”
The GMS provides academic opportunities to remarkable minority students with financial need.
This year, 54,000 students across the United States applied for a GMS, according to Reed. Price-Smith is one of the 1,000 students who received the prestigious scholarship.
“To have three of our students receive this scholarship is insane,” Laffel said. “We are so proud of them.”