Wa-Hi seniors named Gates Millennium Scholars for 2011

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WALLA WALLA -- Two Walla Walla High School seniors have been named Gates Millennium Scholars for 2011.

Janella Bermudez, 18, will be attending Gonzaga University this fall, while Jose Beleche, also 18, will be heading to Whitman College. They have each secured full scholarships to the schools through a variety of awards.

Both students have been active in the Wa-Hi AVID program, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. The program, launched three years ago at the school, offers guidance to help steer youth toward college.

The Gates Millennium Scholars Program was established in 1999 and is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It provides 1,000 scholarships each year.

Scholars receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at a college or university of their choice. Applicants are chosen based on academic achievement, community service and leadership potential.

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