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Three OKCPS Students Receive Gates Millennium Scholarship

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A first for Oklahoma City Public Schools, three students from three different high schools get a prestigious full-ride scholarship, that's only given to 1,000  teens in the country. A first for Oklahoma City Public Schools, three students from three different high schools get a prestigious full-ride scholarship, that's only given to 1,000 teens in the country.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

A first for Oklahoma City Public Schools, three students from three different high schools get a prestigious full-ride scholarship, that's only given to 1,000 teens in the country.

OKCPS says it's a huge deal to just have one student from the district receive the Gates Millennium Scholarship, but to have to have three in one year at often overlooked schools is a feat.

The stage is set, and caps and gowns are in place for graduation practice at Northwest Classen High School. The ceremony is on Friday, so the group of seniors is ecstatic.

But none more excited than Christopher Briggs. He's a 3.8 GPA student, who received a full-ride scholarship to Oklahoma State University to from through the Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholarship program.

"Excitement, joy and tears, just a mix of emotions," Briggs said.

Briggs played football, ran track, and served on student council while also working at a movie theater, so applying for the scholarship wasn't easy.

"It was essay after essay, a total of eight essays you had to write," he said.

So, when Briggs got the letter that his college education was paid for his mother broke down in tears.

"Of course I had to open the envelope, and I probably cried on the porch for 20 minutes, I just screamed Praise God, our baby is going to college,” said Briggs' mother Nadia Johnson.

Briggs thanks his teachers for helping him get the honor. He will be the first of six siblings to go to college.

“We did the math, and we were figuring out how much it would cost us, and it was really a tremendous burden lifted off our shoulders when the scholarship came through, it was just a true blessing for us,” said Leslie Johnson, Briggs' stepfather.

And it's not just Briggs; two other seniors from Oklahoma City Public Schools received the Gates Millennium Scholarship: Rachel Watson at Classen SAS and Christian Luper at Douglass High School.

“Recognition for my school is really amazing because the school is really turning around, and I'm proud for my class of 2015 that I get to represent them this way,” Briggs said.

Weather permitting, the Northwest Classen graduation will be outside at Taft Stadium at Friday at 8 p.m. or Saturday at 2 p.m.

Oklahoma had 38 seniors receive the Gates Millennium scholarship, the most from Tahlequah, OK.

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