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Terra Linda High Student Earns Top Scholarship

Orion Weinstein-Atman will graduate from high school early this year and has won a Bill and Melinda Gates-funded scholarship that will pay for his college education.

Orion Weinstein-Atman
Orion Weinstein-Atman
By Jessica Mullins

Congrats to San Rafael’s Orion Weinstein-Atman, who was the only Marin student to receive a Gates Millennium scholarship this year.  

The national scholarship program, which is administered by the United Negro College Fund, awarded scholarships to 1,000 students in the states in 2013.  

Weinstein-Atman, 16, and the other scholars will receive “good-through-graduation” scholarships to pursue degrees in any undergraduate major at an accredited college or university of the recipients’ choice.  

Weinstein-Atman, a Marin native, will be graduating nearly two years early from Terra Linda High School this spring.  

He is currently taking seven classes including two AP classes, one honors class, and two English and two social studies (for both 11th and 12th grade) in order to graduate.  

“Orion was very motivated to have good grades from kindergarten on,” said his mother, Sandra Fawn. “When he started high school he decided he wanted to graduate early and go to college.”  

Because of his interest in biological sciences and nature, Orion worked as an unpaid intern at a community garden project for more than a year, Fawn said.  

He has been accepted to several universities and plans to major in wildlife conservation and biological sciences, according to Fawn, who is a Marin County commissioner at the Frank Lloyd Wright Civic Center Conservancy.  

Fawn said her son’s Terra Linda High School teacher Jesse Madsen was the one who recommended Weinstein-Atman for the scholarship and wrote his nomination letter.

Established in 1999 with the goal of developing Leaders for America’s Future, the UNCF Gates Millennium Scholars Program is funded by a $1.6 billion grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Each year it enables 5,000 students to attend and graduate from 800 of the most selective private and public schools in the country, including Ivy League colleges, flagship state universities, UNCF member institutions and other minority serving institutions.

Sandra May 17, 2013 at 01:54 PM
For Clarification: The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program is administered by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). To reach, coordinate and support the constituent groups, UNCF partnered with the American Indian Graduate Center Scholars, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund to assist in implementing the program. Orion is Hispanic, so his scholarship is administered by the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.
Sandra May 18, 2013 at 01:35 PM
The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) administers the Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program. UNCF has partnered with the American Indian Graduate Center Scholars, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund to assist in implementing the program. Orion is Hispanic, so his scholarship is administered by the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.

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