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GCH graduating senior Destiny Brown named a Gates Scholar

Published on Friday, May 6, 2022

destiny brown

On April 20, Destiny Brown received some pretty exciting news.

It was news that she described as "surreal" and almost made her cry.

"I just could not believe it," Brown said.

On that day, Brown, a graduating senior at Goose Creek High, learned that she has been selected as a Gates Scholar and a member of the Gates Scholarship Class of 2022. This is a highly selective, last-dollar scholarship for outstanding, minority, high school seniors from low-income households. 

She is one of 300 Scholars chosen from a pool of more than 37,000 applicants from across the nation. She now has a full ride to Charleston Southern University.

"I am so excited," she said. "I'm still speechless. It really feels like a dream because of how surreal it is...It really is a great thing."

Brown grew up in Berkeley County School District with the support of her grandparents, Gwen and Ronald Maxwell, with whom she moved in with when she was 6 years old. She attended Goose Creek Primary and Sedgefield Intermediate (now Mount Holly Elementary), as well as Sedgefield Middle. She said she hopes to inspire others and show that, no matter what their background: "you can achieve success and great things."

Brown applied for the Gates Scholarship program at the beginning of the school year, saying she actually did not know how competitive the scholarship was; she just knew she needed to get as much money as possible for college. 

Gates Scholars receive funding for the full cost of attendance that is not already covered by other financial aid and the expected family contribution, as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), or the methodology used by a Scholar’s college or university. As part of their applications, candidates had to write multiple essays and go through an interview process to be considered for the scholarship. This summer, as part of being a Gates Scholar, Brown will attend The Gates Scholarship Summer Institute for a four-day conference in Los Angeles.  

Ideal candidates for the scholarship demonstrate outstanding academic high school records, leadership ability and personal success skills. Brown has been very active in her high school career, particularly in BETA Club. She was also a member of National Honors Society, Book Club, the Multi-Cultural Club and the Upward Bound Math and Science program (which is through Trident Technical College).

Brown plans to study nursing at Charleston Southern University with a possible minor in Spanish; Brown aspires to become a travel nurse.

She initially thought she wanted to be a physician; Brown was inspired to become a nurse after a medical scare that landed her in the hospital earlier in the school year. During her stay, she saw firsthand the impact nurses make on patients.  

While she hopes to influence as many people as possible through a career in healthcare, Brown also said she wants to make a difference by just being a positive person.

"I think I would like to try to impact the lives of many people by being kind and compassionate," she said, adding, "Emotions...are contagious. I want to spread positivity to other people, and just have that positive impact on other people."

As she prepares to graduate, Brown has reflected on her experience at Goose Creek High and said she will miss her teachers and classmates -- but is also excited about starting a new chapter in her life.

"It's a mixture of a bunch of emotions," she said.

Learn more about the Gates Scholarship.


Monica Kreber