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Two Gainesville High seniors named Questbridge scholar finalists
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Gainesville High School seniors, Doris Toledo and Kingsley Owusu Otoo, have been selected as 2018 National College Match Finalists for the Questbridge National Scholarship program. (Courtesy of Gainesville City Schools)

Gainesville High School seniors Doris Toledo and Kingsley Owusu Otoo have been selected as 2018 finalists for the Questbridge National Scholarship program. 

According to a press release from Gainesville City Schools, Toledo and Otoo were two of 6,507 students selected from more than 16,000 applicants nationwide based on “their strong academic achievement (with an average grade point average of 3.90 or higher); high test scores on the SAT or ACT; financial circumstances; strong character; and exemplary accomplishments and leadership roles in extracurricular and community activities, while ranking in the top 10 percent of their graduating class.”

“By getting Questbridge, my dream of going to a college out of state seems to be more realistic,” Toledo said. “I plan on majoring in biology on a pre-med track. I hope to work in the forensics field, potentially as a forensic pathologist.”

Otoo, who is on pace to complete 500 hours of community service in the spring, said he hopes to become a neurosurgeon and plans to major in pre-medicine in college with a focus on human biology and neuroscience.

“Becoming a Questbridge finalist is like a dream come true,” he added. “It’s that one step closer to ensuring that my parents won’t have to worry about paying for (me) to go to college. It’s that distinct pleasure of knowing that all those sleepless nights worrying about grades, stressing about tests, and focusing on school above all else will finally pay off.” 

Questbridge finalists will receive notification in early December regarding which college they were matched with to receive a full academic scholarship. 

Each student will be awarded a four-year scholarship, which will cover the full cost of attendance, including tuition, room and board, and additional expenses for four years, to one of the nation’s top colleges. 

“(They) are truly amazing students,” Lynn Jones, spokeswoman for Gainesville City Schools, told The Times. “They have worked hard to overcome many barriers while maintaining outstanding grades and positive attitudes. They are both kind-hearted and respectful.”