Sumter Central Student Named Gates Millennium Scholar

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Cephas Foy's classmates gathered in the Sumter Central High School Library this morning to witness a once in a lifetime event: watching their friend and fellow student receive the Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship. Foy applied for the scholarship back in August and says the application was process was intense.

"I waited a couple weeks until that scholarship was open. Once it was open, I began working diligently. I worked on eight essays about myself from August to January."

To Cephas, the scholarship is much more then just a free ride to college. When he opened his congratulatory letter, he realized that one of his life-long dreams was about to come true: attending Atlanta's prestigious Morehouse College.

"There's no way I could pay for that school even though I have always dreamed of attending that school. April came, I opened the mailbox and there was a letter stating that I was selected as a Gates Millennium Scholar."

Foy's nominator and business teacher, Lawanda Thomas, nominated him because she says he exemplified all the qualities of the Gates Millennium Scholarship.

"He's an innovator. He's a hard worker, and definitely a student who always strives to take whatever task we give him to the next level."

Since Foy didn't have some of the opportunities other applicants did, he wasn't so sure of his chances of winning, but now he encourages everyone to apply for anything they're interested in, no matter what.

"Never doubt yourself, because you never know where God is going to take you. Be open in your essays. Try to be different. Don't be mediocre. There's someone reading these essays who does not know you."

Foy plans to use the million-dollar scholarship to major in Accounting.