“Appreciative, humble, intelligent, and persistent—that’s Desmend Phillips,” stated Kristin Weixel, assistant director of the Upward Bound Program at Saint Francis University.
Desmend is an incoming freshman in the petroleum and natural gas engineering program, but he is no stranger to Saint Francis University. He participated in the University’s Upward Bound Program where he learned about himself and his dreams, and began making them come true.
The Upward Bound Program, celebrating 50 years at Saint Francis University, is a program designed to motivate and prepare students for a four-year higher education pursuit. While in the program, Desmend applied for the Gates Millennium Scholarship by writing nine 1,000 word essays; creating a profile of
his academic, leadership, extracurricular, and community service experiences; and finding a nominator and recommender who also created profiles on him and wrote letters of recommendation.
His hard work and motivation paid off, as Desmend was one of only 1,000 individuals across the United States—out of the 53,000 that applied—to receive a scholarship. Desmend was the only recipient in Western Pennsylvania.
Founded in 1999, the Gates Millennium Scholarship is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, and it provides complete funds for recipients’ higher education at a college or university of their choosing.
Desmend is only the second student to receive this scholarship in the Upward Bound program, and he is excited to begin his undergraduate career and fulfill his dreams.
Desmend will be minoring in business administration in addition to majoring in petroleum and natural gas engineering. He plans to take additional finance classes to learn to invest his money, continue his education to obtain a doctorate degree, and start his own petroleum or natural gas company in the future. Above
all, though, Desmend’s greatest goal—which he passionately shared—is to be the best person he can be.
Saint Francis University is excited and honored to have him as a part of the Saint Francis University family.
Desmend was featured on Central PA Live on June 3. Watch the clip here.