Trevor Browne's Octavio Orozco Ibarra Headed to Bowdoin Collegen to Study Civil Engineering

Posted by Community Relations at 5/3/2016

Trevor Browne has a Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar, its fourth in five years. Octavio Orozco Ibarra was well on his way to a full-ride scholarship. As a Questbridge Scholar, he had already had fly-in visits with nine colleges and universities, but his visit to faraway Maine, and Bowdoin College in October convinced him that the small liberal arts college was where he wanted to be. He will study civil engineering with an emphasis on environmental issues. Bowdoin’s financial aid package is $256,960, and includes room and board, work study, and internships, so it may be awhile before the Gates Scholarship is even used. In fact, with ten schools already accepting him, and being waitlisted at others, his total potential scholarship offerings total over $4 million dollars.   He is thinking of grad school at Columbia or Stanford, where he can use the Gates scholarship. Ibarra is second in his senior class, the Salutatorian, with a 4.5 grade point average. He is also the Student Government president, so he is working on his graduation speech…the theme is gratitude. He says he owes everything to Trevor Browne, his teachers and counselors. Ibarra is in the marching band, National Honors Society, Rho Khappa Social Studies Honors Society, and will have logged over 300 hours of community service, as a member of the Helping Those In Need Club, STAND-an anti-tobacco club; L.U.C.H.A., and doing toy drives, voter registration, tutoring and leadership training. 

The goal of the Gates Millennium Scholar program is to provide opportunities for outstanding minority students with financial need to reach their highest potential and increase representation of minorities in disciplines such as science, education, engineering, mathematics, public health and sciences.   This program is unique in that it can be used for undergraduate and graduate degrees, room and board, fees and books, but because it supplements other funding sources, it is difficult to put a value on it.   The Gates Foundation estimates that it is worth an average of $250,000 per student during his/her post-secondary career. Phoenix Union has had 36 Gates Millennium Scholars since 2007 when the program started, and Trevor Browne, with eight, has had the most.