Return to Headlines

Davis Valedictorian earns the Gates Scholarship plus more than $1M in Scholarship Offers


Davis Senior earns the Gates Scholarship plus more than $1M in Scholarship Offers

Gabriel at the Valedictorian/Saluditorian Dinner before the School Board Meeting.  



Dreams of becoming a pilot took off for Gabriel after a visit to the NASA Glenn Research Center when he was in middle school.  

“I just fell in love with aeronautics,” said Gabriel, who is the valedictorian for Davis Aerospace and Maritime High School Class of 2023. “I loved to fly in planes and got excited when we would take family trips.”  

Gabriel will embark on the trip of a lifetime this fall when he heads to Daytona Beach, Florida to enroll at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University  on The Gates Scholarship.  

The Gates Scholarship will cover Gabriel’s tuition, room and board as well as books and flight school. Gabriel plans to major in aeronautical science while simultaneously training to earn his commercial pilot's license.  

The Gates Scholarship established in 2017 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is highly competitive. It is awarded to only 750 students nationwide each year. Gabriel was one of 51,000 applicants this academic year.  



When Gabriel learned he had received the scholarship, his family displayed the congratulatory email on a television screen for all to see as they celebrated the news.  

“When I was awarded the scholarship, it was like everything that I've worked for and worked towards finally paid off,” said Gabriel who will graduate from high school with a 4.44 GPA. “And not having to worry about my financial aid through college, it just really removed the burden for me.”  

His mother, Melissa, is proud of her son and the sacrifices he made at such an early age.  

“We just feel so blessed," said Melissa, who has a master's degree in social work from Case Western Reserve University. “We would never have imagined that he would have received so many offers, and he would have the opportunity to go to the school of his choice, no matter the cost.”  

Gabriel applied to more than ten schools, including Kent State University, Bowling Green University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and University of North Dakota. He got into all but MIT.  

Gabriel also earned full scholarship offers from Ohio State University and Case Western Reserve University and College Now, plus scholarship dollars from Kent State University. In addition, organizations including First Robotics and the Cleveland Cavaliers offered him scholarships, bringing the total offered to  more than a million dollars.  

Gabriel says Embry-Riddle, his top choice, did not offer him a fullride but he is now able to attend because of the Gates Scholarship.  

Gabriel’s path to this moment began in seventh grade when he started taking college courses at Tri-C and Kent State University. He has already earned enough credits to start taking sophomore classes as soon as he begins school in the fall.  

Before Gabriel started his freshman year of high school, his family decided that he would attend Cleveland’s Davis Aerospace and Maritime High School instead of the public high school in his hometown of Garfield Heights. The choice was easy for the aspiring pilot.  

“It is the only program that I heard of that would enable me to start working towards my future career,” said Gabriel, who already has 20 of the 40 hours needed to earn his private pilot’s license.  


Davis Student receives $1M in scholarship offers

Gabriel (right) and members of the Robotics Team at the State Championship  

While at Davis, he also joined the FIRST Robotics team that placed second at this year’s Ohio State Championship. The team will travel to Ecuador in July to deliver 3D printed prosthetic arms they produced for a girl named Samantha, who is a double amputee and other children with missing limbs. 

Davis student offered more than million in scholarship offeres

Left to Right: JohnDarr Bradshaw, Great Lakes Science Center Coordinator, Daniela holding one of the prosthetic arms, Yariselle and Gabriel.

 The soon-to-be college freshman sings the praises of College Now Greater Cleveland and encourages other students and families to take advantage of the unique resource.  

“That program provided me with access and assistance with information to various scholarships. And they recommended that I apply for The Gates scholarship,” said Gabriel.  

This budding pilot’s future looks bright as he sets his course to be successful in college and far beyond.