Only 1,000 students across the United States receive the Gates Millennium Scholars, an all-expense paid scholarship by Bill and Melinda Gates as well as the United Negro College Fund. Norman E. Bolus, MPH, CNMT, was pleasantly surprised when he found out he had not only one but two scholars in the UAB Nuclear Medicine Technology program.
“After learning more about the scholars program, my thought was this is a very selective group,” said Bolus, the NMT program director. “We are a small program that is fortunate enough to have two scholars interested in us as a possible pathway for completion of their degree and future careers.”Johnathan Crayton, of Dadeville, Ala., and Miriam Van Dyke, of Oxford, Ala., are first year students in the NMT program. The college juniors received the scholarships their senior year in high school. The scholarship covers up to 10 years at any accredited college/university from undergraduate up to doctorate degrees. Candidates have to be a minority, at least a 3.3 GPA in high school, exude strong leadership skills, and involvement in community service projects.
“I am not from a wealthy household and I knew that going to college would be the only way to achieve my aspirations of giving back and make a difference in the community,” said Crayton.
After he received his undergraduate degree in Nuclear Medicine Technology, Crayton plans to earn a master degree in the School of Public Health.
Van Dyke has immersed herself at UAB and is using her leadership skills. She is president of the Multicultural Scholars program, vice president of the Society of Blazers Encouraging Responsibility and is in the School of Health Professions Honors Program.
“I am beyond thankful for this scholarship,” said Van Dyke. “This scholarship ignites a sense of responsibility that I have to help others because someone helped me. It allows me the freedom to fulfill my dreams of continuing my education ultimately in order to help others.”
When Van Dyke graduates in Nuclear Medicine Technology, she also plans to go to graduate school in the School of Public Health with a focus on maternal and child health care, specifically for minorities and underserved populations.