Colonel White senior named Gates scholar
Colonel White senior Stephanie Rucker has added another honor to her ever-growing list of accolades: Gates Millennium Scholar.
Rucker is one of a select group of students chosen to receive the prestigious award, established in 1999 by Bill and Melinda Gates to provide outstanding minority students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education.
She plans to attend Washington State University in St. Louis, majoring in biomedical engineering to become a neurosurgeon. Those plans have been in place since Stephanie was seven years old, according to her mother, Stephanie Draper.
“She used to take her stuffed animals, cut off their heads and try to sew them onto each other,” Draper said. “She told me she was doing brain transplants!”
Rucker, a student in Colonel White’s biotechnology program, has received the Dayton Optimist Club’s “Women in Engineering” award for her science fair project. She also won the “Future Engineer” award from the Wright STEPP program. Currently, she serves as president of the Colonel White National Honor Society.
An office aide at Colonel White, Rucker assists at the district’s annual READing Jamboree celebration, and reads to elementary students. She also volunteers at the Bomberger Teen Center.
Her civic contributions earned her accolades from the Dayton LaSertoma Club, who presented her with one of its annual “Youth Service” awards in February.
“Stephanie’s achievements and willingness to give back to Dayton Public Schools and the community is nothing short of outstanding,” Superintendent Percy Mack said. “She represents the passion, drive and determination that so many of our young people are applying toward their future. We are extremely proud to have a student like her in our midst.”
If her academic plate wasn’t already overflowing, Rucker is captain of the girls tennis team, and earned varsity letters in that sport, softball and basketball. She was named the 2006 Student Athlete of the Year.