VRHS student receives second prestigious scholarship


A Vista Ridge High School student was awarded the highly-selective Gates Scholarship on April 26, the second prestigious scholarship he’s received in five months.  

Quincy Johnson, a senior at Vista Ridge, was also accepted into The Massachusetts Institute of Technology just a month after winning a full-tuition scholarship to the University of Texas just five months ago. 

“I was at a loss of words when I received the news of receiving the Gates scholarship. It was very relieving as well, since it was the last application I had to worry about regarding college and financial aid,” said Johnson. 

The Gates Scholarship, created by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2017, selects 300 minority students each year from a large pool of applicants to receive an all-expenses paid scholarship to a college of the student’s choosing. Johnson is using the funds to attend MIT for a degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. 

Johnson’s selection for the Gates Scholarship comes on the heels of the UT scholarship. Last November, Johnson was awarded a full-tuition scholarship of $48,000 for the computer sciences program. The Impact Scholarship, Johnson’s UT award, was given to 30 students across Texas “who are making an impact in their communities,” according to a 2018 press release from The Office of The Executive Vice President and Provost at UT. 

Johnson’s acceptance into MIT and his subsequent scholarship means he will be passing on attending UT, one of three universities where he applied for admission.  

But MIT was always his top choice, said Johnson’s mother, Kinnika Johnson. 

“When we received the news about the admission, I happy-cried, ran around the house and screamed ‘he got in, He got in!’ over and over," she said.  

The Gates Scholarship is awarded to students who meet several criteria: they must be a high school senior; African-American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian and Pacific Islander American, or Hispanic American; eligible for a Federal Pell Grant; a citizen, national or permanent resident of the United States and hold a cumulative weighted GPA of at least 3.3.