A teenager from Philadelphia named Gates Scientist Local news
The teenager from Philadelphia received an excellent scholarship from Bill and Melinda Gates.
Cemil Duncan, a senior at the Charter School Multicultural Academy, was named one of 300 senior students selected nationwide to receive scholarships in high competition.
The Gates Scholarship is awarded to outstanding minority high school graduates from low-income homes. Applicants must be among the top 10% of graduates and participate in extracurricular and social activities, among other factors.
Scholars will receive funding for the full cost of the visit, which is not yet covered by other financial assistance.
“When I got the news, I was shocked,” Duncan said. “Being a Gates Scholar means my hard work has paid off. One of the things I like about this scholarship over others is that they not only look at what you do in your studies, but also look at what you do in the community. ”
The 18-year-old Duncan has been accepted to more than 10 colleges and universities, including the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Vilanova University, Temple University and Swartmore College.
In addition to letters of acceptance, he also received more than $ 1.4 million in scholarships.
Duncan plans to enroll in law school at Swartmore College. He wants to be a lawyer. He was also awarded the Swartmar McCabe Scholarship, a four-year full-time scholarship.
“I’ve been interested in becoming a lawyer since I was 11,” Duncan said. “I will most likely study government and a dual major in philosophy and political science.”
Charter School Multicultural Academy Director Scott Walsh said he is proud of Duncan.
“For four years at the Multicultural Academy, he amazed his teachers with his masterful writing and dazzling intelligence,” Scott said in a statement. “His commitment to excellence and strong moral character make him a role model for students at our school and throughout Philadelphia.”
Duncan has been working in government and politics since he was 14 years old. He has worked for numerous political campaigns, written for the delegation candidate and liaised with dozens of elected officials on behalf of private business.
He is currently a legislative assistant to Philadelphia Council member Cindy Bass, making him the youngest legislative member of the council. Prior to working in the office, Bass Duncan worked with State Senator Sharif Street and former Council member Bobby Henan.
Duncan is a member of various organizations around the city. He is Greg Scott’s political director for the state representative, a member of the Philadelphia Police Department’s Youth Advisory Committee, a member of the SEPTA Youth Advisory Board, and a research director at UrbEd Advocates.
He is also a published author and writer whose works have appeared in local and international media.
“Since joining my staff in December 2020, Cemil has written nearly two dozen pieces of legislation, including a resolution calling for more federal investment in sickle cell disease research,” Bass said.
“Another action initiated to continue the work of the district to improve business on Mount Airy after its completion date, while one resolution allowed the Philadelphia City Council’s Committee on Trade and Economic Development to hold public hearings to investigate racial bias in Philadelphia’s development,” Bass said.
“I couldn’t be proud of this young man and assume that he is destined for an impressive legal career or any profession he chooses,” Bass added. “His brilliance and numerous achievements combined with his new prestigious Gates Fellowship status essentially guarantee his continued success.”
Duncan said working in politics helped him prepare to become a lawyer.
“Being an assistant in the legislative process is the closest way I can be a lawyer right now,” Duncan said. “I really like talking to people, finding out what the problems are and trying to find out them legally.
“It requires a lot of research, writing and reading, and that’s all I like,” Duncan added. “I already have real experience, but I’m looking forward to taking it a step further.”
Duncan said what he wants people to stand out from his story is that young people can do great things if given the opportunity.
“Mentoring is very important for young people,” Duncan said. “I think that if people really give us a chance and trust us with serious work, strange things can happen.
“The more young people get real career experience, the more young people will find their hobby and what kind of career they would like to have,” he said. “It would also help the world get better.”