DPS has record number of Gates scholars
As DPS seniors near the end of their high school experience, four very talented members of the Class of 2009 have earned scholarships that ensure limitless possibilities for the next stage of their education.
These students - India Brown and Amber Sizemore (Thurgood Marshall), Christina Martindale (Stivers), and Charles Wilkes II (DECA) - are four of only 1,000 recipients nationwide selected as Gates Millennium Scholars. This is the 10th anniversary of the prestigious program, established by Bill and Melinda Gates to provide outstanding minority students with the financial backing to complete an undergraduate college education as well as attaining advanced degrees.
These awards bring the district’s total number of Gates scholars to 15 since 2000.
“These students are just amazing, and we couldn’t be prouder of this achievement,” Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Kurt Stanic said. “It’s a testament to what can be accomplished when students, parents and schools work together for academic success.”
India Brown, daughter of Dara Brown and Arthur Lynch, is ranked third in her graduating class, with a 4.27 GPA. She plans to attend The Ohio State University, majoring in mechanical engineering. It’s a field she became interested in after participating in the “Battle Bots” robotics program, a joint partnership between DPS and Sinclair.
Brown is a major with the Thurgood Marshall Black Knight JROTC Color Guard, handling records and awards for the squad. She is captain of the school academic quiz team, a National Honor Society member, and class treasurer.
“This award means security, stability,” she said. “Whatever I need to do, I can accomplish it. I just need to keep working hard, and keep going.”
Amber Sizemore, daughter of Katherine Sizemore, is the Marshall valedictorian, with a 4.45 GPA. She will attend Spelman College, majoring in pediatric orthodontics. It’s a field, she explained, that combines her love for the sometimes unlikely duo of creativity and precision.
This class vice president is also a varsity cheerleader and member of the pep squad and National Honor Society. She is excited about the possibilities of being a Gates Scholar.
“It opens a lot of doors for me,” she said. “I’m from a single parent household, and sometimes dreams are a little more difficult to attain.”
Christina Martindale, daughter of Suzanne Martindale, is ranked fourth in her graduating class, with a 4.3 GPA. She has a visual arts focus at Stivers, but plans to attend the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing to become an advanced practical nurse. A love of people was her motivation for choosing this field.
The four-time varsity athlete (volleyball, track, swimming and softball, where she is captain) is president of the Spanish National Honor Society, historian for National Honor Society, treasurer for the Junior Counsel on World Affairs and lifeguards at Splash Moraine during the summer.
She said she owes a debt of gratitude to Stivers principal Erin Dooley and athletic director Randall Risner, along with her mother, for encouraging her to apply for the scholarship.
“This is great, helping her out. It takes most of the burden off of her,” said Martindale, who noted her mom works two jobs to support them. “I am appreciative and thankful to all who helped me. This is just a relief.”
Charles Wilkes II is a student at the Dayton Early College Academy, a charter school operated by the University of Dayton and sponsored by Dayton Public Schools.
The son of Theressa Brooks, Wilkes will attend Morehouse College and major in nursing or business. He holds a 3.8 GPA, and plans to do his graduate work at an Ivy League sch