Brandon Krone, a 2014 Anoka High School graduate, is modest about his athletic and academic success.
“I’m not the greatest in school,” he said. “I think I’m smart, but have to work really hard. I challenge myself with my courses.”
Krone, who is part of the district’s Indian Education college preparatory program, was recently named a 2014 Gates Millennium Scholar.
The GMS Program is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and selects 1,000 students of multicultural backgrounds each year to receive a “good-through-graduation” scholarship to use at the college or university of their choice.
According to Mary Beth Elhardt, Krone’s Indian Education adviser, the scholarship will pay for Krone’s college tuition and living expenses in full for as long as he wants to go to college.
“(The GMS program) wants students to go to college and focus only on their studies,” she said.
To apply for the program, Krone wrote a series of nine essays, while Elhardt and Krone’s wrestling coach, Todd Springer, wrote another seven and three essays, respectively, to nominate him. Elhardt said the GMS Program received more than 50,000 applications this year.
Krone, who is of Anishinaabe, or Ojibwe, descent, is part of the Leech Lake, Minnesota tribe on his father’s side. In addition to being on the “A” honor roll multiple times and taking honors and Advanced Placement classes, Krone is also a decorated wrestler. Recently, he won the Junior Greco division at state and was a finalist in the Freestyle category. He’s also involved in Distributive Education Clubs of America.
“Brandon is just a really nice guy,” Elhardt said. “He’s really a leader amongst his peers.”
Krone is the second Indian Education Program student in two years to be chosen as a GMS. The program works with American Indian students from kindergarten through 12th grade and aims to prepare them for life and some form of higher education following high school. The program boasts a 95 percent graduate rate.
“We’re a very successful program,” Elhardt said. “We have 21 graduating seniors this year.”
Krone plans to attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in the fall to study architectural design, and is considering a double major in either business or engineering. He also plans on trying out for the college’s wrestling team.
Krone is the second student from Anoka-Hennepin to receive the scholarship.