Newark Charter High School Student Surprised With $25,000 Scholarship From Sallie Mae

Nicole Gill Receives One of Nine Bridging the Dream Scholarships

Scholarship Recognizes High School Juniors and Seniors Nationwide Who Excel Inside and Outside of the Classroom

Friday, December 13, 2019 1:39 pm EST



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"Despite facing adversity her whole life, Nicole continues to shine inside and outside of the classroom"

NEWARK, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nicole Gill, a senior at Newark Charter High School, was surprised with a $25,000 Bridging the Dream Scholarship from Sallie Mae®. Nicole was attending a college planning assembly with more than 320 of her classmates when she was revealed as a winner by Sallie Mae Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Donna Vieira. The assembly featured a performance by national hip-hop artist and former teacher, Dee-1. Nicole’s family and staff members from the offices of Senator Chris Coons and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester were also in attendance. In addition, State Senator David Sokola presented a tribute on behalf of the Delaware State Senate. Nicole is one of nine scholarship recipients nationwide.

Bridging the Dream Scholarship nominations were submitted by school and community leaders to recognize high school juniors and seniors who excel in academics, athletics, community service, or school activities but may face personal or financial challenges when looking to fulfill their college dreams. Nicole was nominated by her college counselor, Ryan Mitchell.

“Despite facing adversity her whole life, Nicole continues to shine inside and outside of the classroom,” said Mitchell. “I’m grateful that this scholarship from Sallie Mae will help Nicole further her education, and I look forward to watching her grow into the influential leader she’s destined to become.”

A talented student-athlete, Nicole continues to overcome her challenges from cystic fibrosis. She is the vice president of her school’s Technology Student Association, the dance captain of her school’s musical, and a member of the National Honor Society. She plans to pursue a career in engineering.

“Nicole is a perfect example of an aspiring mind who continues to create opportunities to better herself, her family, and her community,” said Jessica Schuler, director, Sallie Mae. “We’re happy to be a part of her amazing journey and to help equip her with the necessary resources she’ll need to make her dreams a reality.”

Since 2016, Sallie Mae has awarded $560,000 in scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students through the Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program. This year, $225,000 will be awarded, including $40,000 raised directly by employees.

For more information about Sallie Mae’s Bridging the Dream Scholarships, visit, or join the conversation by using #BridgingTheDream.

Sallie Mae (Nasdaq: SLM) believes education and life-long learning, in all forms, help people achieve great things. As the leader in private student lending, we provide financing and know-how to help make college happen and offer products and resources to help customers make new goals and experiences, beyond college, possible. Learn more at Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

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Connor Peoples