Jenks High School seniors Viranda Kwok, Caleb Mangesho, and Langh Guite earned full, four-year scholarships to three of the most prestigious universities in the nation.
The students were recognized as Match Scholarship Recipients through QuestBridge, a national nonprofit connecting the nation’s most exceptional, low-income students with leading institutions of higher education.
Kwok was matched with Vanderbilt University, while Mangesho will attend Yale University and Guite is on his way to Colgate University.
Out of over 16,500 applicants, QuestBridge selected 6,312 finalists to be considered for the QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship. This year, the Jenks High School students are among 1,674 students from across the country who were named Match Scholarship Recipients. The Match Scholarship covers the full cost of tuition, room and board, books, supplies, and travel expenses. After a lengthy process of applications and essays to QuestBridge’s college partners, the JHS students were notified of the life-changing news via email in early December.
“I cannot believe this amazing gift I’ve been given,” remarked Mangesho, a JPS student since first grade. “The moment I found out I was matched with Yale is a moment I will remember for the rest of my life. Coming from a low-income family, it has always been a goal to do well in school and earn a scholarship but going to Yale is something I never could have dreamed. Opportunities like this are once in a lifetime.”
“I was wondering how I was going to pay for college, but now I can go without any worries or any debt,” stated Kwok. “I can just go there and fully explore my interests. I’m so glad I went through the QuestBridge process, and I can’t even express how amazing it is to have this opportunity.”
Like Kwok and Mangesho, Guite is a first-generation American. His parents fled Burma when Guite was three years old and lived in Malaysia before making their way to Tulsa. “My family is really proud,” Guite said. “I wasn’t sure college was a possibility for me because I knew it would be a financial burden for my parents. I’m so happy to be able to life that burden off their shoulders. I haven’t traveled much outside of Oklahoma, so I’m excited to experience a new place with new people, and I’m so grateful to QuestBridge for making this happen.”
Mangesho plans to study English and Pre-Law at Yale, while Kwok is considering civil or mechanical engineering at Vanderbilt. Guite, who says his dream job is to be a diplomat, is considering a major in international relations with a minor in business. Between them, the three students will complete a total of 37 Advanced Placement courses during their time at Jenks High School.
“Not only are these students brilliant, but they are also kind and hard-working,” commented Paula Dennis, College Counselor at Jenks High School. “All of them supported each other throughout this process, and it truly brings tears to my eyes to see them rewarded with these scholarships. Each one of them is so deserving of this opportunity and I know they will make the most of it.”
QuestBridge partners with 45 colleges to help talented students achieve success in their respective careers and communities. The outstanding high school seniors who received a Match Scholarship have an average GPA of 3.93, and 92% are in the top 10% of their graduating class. Financially, 95% come from a household with an annual income under $65,000, and 87% qualify for free or reduced-price school meals. The majority of the 2021 QuestBridge Scholars – 81% – are among the first generation in their families to attend a four-year college in the United States.