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Ashley Stickman
As a freshman studying biology at Washington State University in Pullman, Doyon shareholder Ashley Stickman has a lot on her mind. One thing she doesn’t have to worry about is how to pay for college.

Stickman, the daughter of Cliff and Ann Short, and granddaughter of Donald and Jessie Stickman, and Clifford and Sophie Short, was one of 1,000 students nationwide to receive a prestigious Gates Millennium Scholars award last May. The award, which is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, provides a full-ride scholarship for up to 10 years of higher education at nearly any school she chooses.

“I’m planning to be a pediatrician, so this pays my way all the way through medical school,” said Stickman, who is from Kotzebue and ultimately plans to return to Alaska to work in a rural area.

The application process was not easy – Stickman said it took her approximately two months to complete it.

“It was a long process, but totally worth it. It gives you a lot of opportunity,” she said.

Stickman said her education and high GPA played a big part in receiving the scholarship. Leadership and communication skills, school and community involvement, and a “desire to have a good future” helped as well.

Stickman, who was also named Miss Mt. Edgecumbe, Miss Arctic Circle and Miss World Eskimo-Indian Olympics last year, had a few words of encouragement for her fellow students.

“Don’t be discouraged by college costs. There are people willing to help pay for it. You can achieve what you dream about,” she said.

For more information about Gates Millennium Scholarships please visit their Web site at www.gmsp.org.