A WEST PHILADELPHIA Catholic High School senior looked to a dark time in her past in her successful quest for a scholarship that pays tuition all the way through doctoral studies and puts her on a path toward a decidedly brighter future.
Sadiyah Malcom, 18, witnessed her niece drown in the Schuylkill six years ago. She wrote about the experience as part of her application to the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, and, very much to her surprise, she became the eighth West Catholic student to win, the program announced Tuesday.
"A lot of times when students face opposition like that, they are traumatized and need a lot of help," Malcom said. "I took it as something that made me feel more human and that made me want to do more for my community. It made me grow in faith and get closer to God."