LAKE CITY, SC (WMBF) – Mikayla Hanna, 18, is well on her way to college. She'll start June 6 at The University of Maryland, Baltimore County in the biochemistry program on a full ride scholarship.
"I won't have to pay anything for college," she said excitedly.
Hanna's college education is paid for, and then some. She is a Gates Millennium Scholar, and one of tens of thousands who applied to the program. Only 1,000 were accepted nationwide, giving her a free education all the way up until she receives her MD and Ph. D.
"I want to get my MD and Ph. D because I'll be a research scientist but also be able to run clinical trials on people so I can test for something and see it through," she said.
Last year, the Lake City High School senior started working with Mychal Wynn and his foundation through the college cohort. Wynn helped prepare her for the application process for the Gates foundation.
"I had to make sure I had community service and I made sure I had leadership so I got positions in the school like president of the book club, president of Beta Club, drum major and things like that," she said.
But Mikayla, who is second in her class with a 4.6 GPA, started preparing for success years ago with her grandmother's advice.
"Since I was younger my grandmother always told me that education is something that no one can take away from me so I always valued it and I knew I wanted to go to college," she said.