As graduation approaches, MC seniors prepare to move onto bigger and better endeavors in college and in life. For senior Darius Johnson he achieved a scholarship to help him reach his goals and make his high school experience worthwhile.
“It’s called The College-Bound Senior Scholarship and the other award that you get is when you graduate the program. I was in the program for 7 years, then your senior year, you graduate and they give you a senior gift. Mine was a Kindle, so I got that then the $1,000,” Johnson said.
The College-Bound Scholarship Program financially assists qualified applicants toward their college goals. Eligible applicants may apply for awards up to $6,000 to be used toward direct college costs such as tuition, room and board and indirect costs such as personal expenses, books, and transportation.
Through his mother, Johnson entered the program in the 5th grade and has since benefited. The scholarship selection is based on several different aspects of high school such as, academic performance, community service, extracurricular activities, financial need and commitment to College Bound.
“It’s pretty much for all African American students, but while you’re in it, you learn financial skills, college skills, and just basic connections with people. There’s a lot of guest speakers that come in and teach you about college life, future life, and career goals,” Johnson said.
Besides the money and gifts, Johnson was given several opportunities to learn from successful people.
“There’s a lady called Felicia Baker. She’s on the board of Wells Fargo and she taught us about financial budgeting. There was the CEO of Kaiser Permanente and he told us about his journey about how he became CEO and he gave us tips on what we need to do throughout college to be what you want to be,” Johnson said.
With his newfound knowledge and life lessons, Johnson looks forward to college life and furthering his education at UCSB.
“I’m still going to have connections with them and I’m still going to visit every now and then, but I’m going to take what they gave me and apply that to my college work. They told me, ‘Do what you need to do, then you can do what you want to do,’ so that goes along with prioritizing,” Johnson said.
This program has done a lot for Johnson as far as setting up opportunities for success goes and he looks forward to furthering his studies toward becoming an immunologist.
“After taking biology, biotech and all that, I liked the fields of it. I like the content that I learned and I like the aspect of finding new stuff that can actually help people,” Johnson said. “I’m going into pre-biology, then after sophomore year, I’m declaring my major as micro-biology.”
Although science can be daunting for a lot of people, the thought of advancing the improvement of the human body is exciting for Johnson.
“I want to become an immunologist, so micro-biology would help me in becoming an immunologist,” Johnson said. “It’s the study of the immune system and finding new ways that the body can adapt to new diseases, so you can find cures. I like the research part and how these new ways can further the advancement of stuff and advance the body further.”