PVCC Early College Scholar Kamdon Early receives Gates Scholarship

PVCC Early College Scholar student Kamdon Early was recently selected by the Gates Scholarship program to receive a $301,480 scholarship. A resident of Stanardsville, Kamdon is a graduating senior from William Monroe High School. The scholarship was established by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to promote academic excellence by providing an opportunity for outstanding minority students with financial need to reach their highest potential.

PVCC’s Early College Scholars program allows high-achieving high school students the opportunity to complete an associate degree or general education certificate concurrently with a high school diploma. Utilizing dual enrollment classes offered in the high schools along with classes offered at PVCC, students complete their degree requirements while saving money.

"Kamdon has completely prepared himself for post-secondary education at Duke University. He is hard working, independent and shows a self-motivation that is far beyond his years. He has taken advantage of every academic opportunity in front of him and has yet to be stopped. He never fails to impress me," said Angelina Santus, director of William Monroe High School’s Counseling Center and the school’s Early College Scholars coordinator. She added that of the 36,500 applicants, only 300 students were chosen nationwide.

One of his PVCC instructors, Laurie Thurneck, professor of communication studies recalls, “Kamdon excelled on every assignment, meriting the highest GPA in the class while earning two degrees as a dual-enrollment student.”

Kamdon will attend Duke University this fall where he plans to study philosophy and pre-law on full scholarship. He is graduating the Early College Scholars program with a 4.0 grade point average. About his experience in the program, Kamdon shared, “I appreciate the program for exposing me to a different way of thinking. I also gained valuable experience giving presentations in a college classroom.”

Kamdon is thankful to both local Greene County donors and the Gates Scholarship program. “I feel a sense of relief that I don’t have to pay for the full cost of a four-year university. I also feel a sense of responsibility because many people saw something in me that I didn’t necessarily see. I’m going to pursue my education with that in mind.”

He recounted the excitement his family felt when they learned about him winning a Gates Scholarship. In addition to his parents, he says his four brothers have been an inspiration to him.

PVCC’s Early College Scholars program will host a ceremony for graduating William Monroe High School students on Thursday evening, May 9, at the Eugene Guiseppe Center in Stanardsville. For more information on how you can contribute to the program, please visit. https://www.pvcc.edu/donate-greene.