Three Irving ISD seniors have earned the highly selective, prestigious Gates Scholarship. Recipients receive funding for the full cost of attendance, which includes tuition, fees, room and board, books, transportation and other personal expenses.

Congratulations to the following recipients:

Irving High School
For Diana Canales, being named a Gates Scholar means bridging the gap between her dreams and reality. Canales plans to attend Southern Methodist University to major in Biological Sciences and pursue a pre-medical track.

“As someone from a low-income, immigrant family, funding my higher education journey seemed next to impossible, especially considering the climbing costs of attending college. However, with The Gates Scholarship, my family and I no longer have to worry about that. I can begin the path to being a medical professional without financial burdens, and I am eternally grateful for that,” she says.

Canales encourages other students to apply for scholarships like this one despite what they think the outcome might be.

“At the start of the Gates Scholarship application process, I thought my chances of being selected were slim, but applying anyway forever changed my life,” says Canales. “Take that first step – you’ll never know if you don’t try.”


MacArthur High School

Earlier this year, Grace Marquez was named a QuestBridge Scholar – receiving early admission and a full-ride scholarship to Duke University, one of her top college choices. Adding to her list of accomplishments, Marquez was recently named a Gates Scholar, an opportunity she says she’s honored to have received. 

“This opportunity truly means the world to me, and I’m so excited to pursue my dreams,” she says. “I will be attending Duke University as a biomedical engineering major. I hope to become a doctor one day, and I am so excited that this is one of the first steps I’m taking towards that goal. This scholarship truly changes lives, and I am one example of that.”


Singley Collegiate Academy
Sneha Shrestha will begin her college journey at the University of Texas at Austin in the fall. She plans to major in Aerospace Engineering with an interest in pursuing a double major in Computational Engineering or Computer Engineering. For Shrestha, being awarded this scholarship came as a surprise, but it’s one that she doesn’t take for granted.

“I feel incredibly blessed and honored to be a recipient of The Gates Scholarship. When I applied, I did not expect to win, much less advance to the semi-finalist and subsequent finalist round of the application process,” says Shrestha. “I truly have immense gratitude for the generous support provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I am sincerely grateful that the foundation saw my academic potential and awarded me so graciously. This award not only relieves the financial aspect of attending college but also empowers me more than ever to strive to achieve the very best. With this support, I am confident I can reach any academic and professional goals I set for myself. Currently, I eagerly await to attend the Gates Scholarship Summer Institute in June, and I am excited to meet the vast network of scholars, alumni, council and staff members.”

Shrestha has several people she credits for helping her achieve this goal.

“I would like to thank Ms. Christine Boutilier, the Advanced Academics Coordinator from Arlington ISD, for interviewing me for this scholarship. I would also like to thank Ms. Christina Guzman, Ms. Maria Segovia and Ms. Natalie Brewer from Singley Collegiate for writing recommendation letters for my scholarship application,” she says. “Each educator significantly contributed to my academic journey throughout high school in unique and memorable ways. I will continue to carry the lessons they bestowed on me beyond graduation.”