May 17, 2013 11:27 PM by Erin Steuber

Meet Lafayette's Own Gates Millennium Scholar

Today marked the last day of classes for high school seniors across Lafayette. And with graduation right around the corner seniors are getting ready for the summer, and then college. But one Northside High School student doesn't have to about paying for his education all thanks to Bill Gates.

The billionaire and his wife send 1,000 students to college through their foundation. The Gates-Millennium scholarship pays for housing and tuition for minority students graduating from high school, and one is right here in Lafayette.

After 9 essays, an impressive list of accomplishments and a lot of hard work, Northside High School senior Christopher Cormier could do nothing but wait.

"I was a little hesitant, but then I opened it up and it said 'Congratulations you're a Bill Gates scholar' and I was kinda speechless," said Cormier. "Then it was like man I did it."

Cormier is one of 1,000 recipients nationwide chosen out of 54,000 applicants to be a Gates Millennium Scholar. An honor he never imagined he'd have.

"How many scholarships did you apply for?," said KATC's Erin Steuber.

"Like 10. I didn't get one. The only one I had gotten for sure was the UL scholarship," said Cormier.

The scholarship provides a full-ride all the way through his doctorate if he chooses, but for now he is excited to be a Ragin' Cajun at UL and become a CPA.

"I want to be able to help someone else with their finances, because with the way the economy is now it's kinda hard," said Cormier. "Money management is really important if you want to go to college, or save for certain things."

Cormier will graduate May 25, not only as a Gates scholar, but Northside's student of the year. But just because his years at Northside are over, doesn't mean he won't be coming back.

"At first I said once I'm done, I'm done," said Cormier. "But now I hope to go back and help someone else like me achieve something great."



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