Here's an inspiring story on the local education front.

Gerardo Castillo, who's currently a senior at Jefferson High School, has been selected as a Gates Millennium Scholar. He'll use the scholarship to attend Harvard University in the fall.

RPS 205
RPS 205

What's a Gates Millennium Scholar? The program (yes, named after Bill Gates) provides 1,000 scholarships every year in an effort to remove barriers to education for outstanding minority students who face significant financial need.

There are 59 Gates Millennium Scholars in Illinois, but Castillo is the only recipient from the Stateline area.

Jefferson Principal, Don Rundall, is not surprised at Castillo's honor:

Gerardo is a scholar in every sense of the word. His commitment to education is obvious, but what people may not know about him is how fearless he is and how readily he seeks a challenge. We are so proud of him here at Jefferson. As much as we will miss him, we know he is headed for great things – in the Ivy League and beyond.

Castillo is planning to major in chemistry and would like to attend medical school after graduating from college. But there's more good news! As a Gates Millennium scholar, he'll receive help with masters and doctoral study as well.

The Gates Millennium Scholars Program is funded through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Nice job and good luck to Gerardo!

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