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Lamar Consolidated's Zelaya named Gates Millennium Scholar

Apr 27, 2016 | Community Relations
Jose Zelaya\
Jose Zelaya

Every organization needs that one person that can diagnose and repair absolutely every computer problem.

Lamar Consolidated High School senior Jose Zelaya is already that person. And he wants to learn even more.

“I have researched and compared different pieces of computer hardware and know which parts are compatible,” Zelaya said, “and I also have experience in building computers. But most importantly I know how to maintain a computer and having it run on its optimal performance through the usage of different software and tweaks on the Windows operating system.

Zelaya is a 2016 Gates Millennium Scholar, making him one of only 1,000 high school students in the United States that will never worry about the cost of college. His tuition and fees are covered for as long as he studies, including graduate school.

He is Lamar CISD’s seventh Gates Scholar and the fourth at Lamar Consolidated High School.

Established in 1999 with the goal of developing leaders for America’s future, the Gates Scholar program is funded by a $1.6 billion grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The program removes the financial barriers to education for high-performing, low-income students. 

He plans to attend the University of Texas-Dallas, studying computer engineering – specifically computer hardware engineering.. He hopes to get his masters in the same field.
“Through research, I’ve learned about the architecture and performance and power consumption in computers,” he said. “I also help people who are building their own custom computer.”

Zelaya’s long-range goals are to develop superior central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs). 

Then I’d like to integrate that technology into new devices which will improve our daily lives, providing more efficiency and better performance.
Lamar Consolidated HS English teacher wrote one of the letters of recommendation for Zelaya’s application.

“The most compelling reason that I can give for Jose to receive the Gates Millennium Scholarship is because he has overcome adversity and the reward is justified,” she wrote. “Jose carries the worthy burden of becoming the first of his family to graduate from high school and seek a college degree. In his household, English is a second language and therefore he must tout differing roles—that of scholar and role model.   He is to be admired for his accomplishments and his potential to make a difference.”

Jose is the son of Jose and Juana Zelaya. He attended Lamar CISD schools for his entire academic career.