Former Fiji Nationals Invited to Apply for Gates Millennium Scholars Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund

The Fiji Embassy in US should ideally be looking for educated and overeducated Fiji Nationals and recruit them. We have a severe problem of brain drain in the country with ethnic coups and the more educated and privileged Indians settling abroad. And yet, the country does not seem to care!

The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) program has launched the 2008 scholarship and nomination process and the Fiji Embassy in DC has been asked to assist in identifying outstanding students who are former Fiji nationals but now US citizen or permanent residents with demonstrated leadership abilities and significant financial need to apply for the GMS scholarship.

The Gates Millennium Scholars program, established in 1999, was initially funded by a 1 billion dollar grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The goal of GMS is to promote academic excellence and to provide an opportunity for outstanding minority students with significant financial need to reach their highest potential by:
• Reducing financial barriers for African-American, Hispanic American, American Indian/Alaska Native and Asian Pacific Islander American students with high academic and leadership promise who have a significant financial need
• Increasing the representation of these target groups in the disciplines of education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health, and the sciences, where these groups are severely underrepresented
• Developing a diversified cadre of future leaders for America by facilitating successful completion of bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees
• Providing seamless support from undergraduate through doctoral programs, for students selected as Gates Scholars entering target disciplines.

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is the administrator of the GMS program. To reach, coordinate, and support Asian Pacific Islander Americans, UNCF has partnered with the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund to assist in implementing the program.

The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) is the primary national effort to provide scholarships for deserving Asian & Pacific Islander American students. APIASF currently offers two scholarships for students that will be enrolled for the first-time at colleges or universities. APIASF mission is to forge partnerships building a national Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship organization that supports and encourages all Asian and Pacific Islander American students to pursue higher education, thereby developing future leaders who will contribute back to their communities, and ultimately, strengthening.

Writing recently to the Fiji Embassy in Washington Mr Ryan Edgar Outreach Coordinator, Gates Millennium Scholars Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund – APIASF wrote, “We welcome your help in identifying outstanding students with demonstrated leadership abilities and significant financial need to apply for the GMS scholarship.”

Students are eligible to be considered for a GMS scholarship if they:
• Are African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American or Hispanic American
• Are a citizen, national or legal permanent resident of the United States
• Have attained a cumulative high school GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale (unweighted) or have earned a GED
• Will be enrolling for the first time at a U.S. accredited college or university as a full-time, degree-seeking, first-year student in fall 2008
• Have demonstrated leadership abilities through participation in community service, extracurricular, or other activities
• Meet the federal Pell Grant eligibility criteria
• Have completed and submitted all three required forms (Nominee Personal Information Form, Nominator Form, and Recommender Form) by the deadline

Former Fiji nationals who are now US citizens or permanent residents and who meet the above criteria may apply for the scholarships. The deadline for online submissions is January 11, 2008 at 11:59 pm EST; Paper submissions must be postmarked no later than December 31, 2007.   You can visit and select the “Apply Online” tab to start the online nomination process. Further information on the Scholarships may be obtained from the following:

Gates Millennium Scholars
P.O. Box 10500
Fairfax, VA 22031-8044
Toll-Free Phone: 1-877-690-4677

Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund
1900 L Street, NW, Suite 210
Washington, DC 20036-5002
Phone. (202) 986-6892
Fax. (202) 530-0643

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