RPA senior receives full ride scholarship to Boston University

Redmond Proficiency Academy (RPA) senior Niysa Heilman-Gast will attend Boston University on a full ride scholarship next year as part of the QuestBridge National College Match, a program that connects high-achieving high school seniors from low-income backgrounds with full four-year scholarships to top colleges.

Heilman-Gast, the first in her family to attend college, said after spending her entire life on the West Coast, she is excited to attend an East Coast school and explore everything the area has to offer.

“I am super excited to attend Boston University,” she said. “I can’t wait to be in a new environment and have new experiences. I am very grateful to be going to a school filled with students and staff who are passionate about learning.”

Heilman-Gast was selected for admission through QuestBridge’s highly selective application process. Students first apply to become a finalist with QuestBridge and then go through the admission matching process with the partnering colleges. This year only 1,674 Finalists were selected as Match Scholarship Recipients. She will be one of just 30 match scholars admitted to Boston University this year.

“Knowing Niysa makes you appreciate that with enough grit and the right motivation, anything is possible,” said Bayley Killpack, mathematics teacher and National Honor Society Adviser at RPA. “Throughout her time at RPA, she has demonstrated a sincere desire to reach her full potential and to not settle for less than her best.”

Heilman-Gast credits her experience at RPA for contributing to her success. “Without Mr. Calbreath (RPA High School counselor), I wouldn’t even know about the QuestBridge opportunity and he helped me so much along the way with my application,” she said. “I also don’t think I would be the student I am today without going to RPA. Being allowed to study things I wanted gave me a passion to do well with my education.”

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