During the 2018 Oklahoma teacher walkout, then 16-year old Edmond Memorial High School student Grace Fox was among a select group of student advocates who took to the stage to express their support for teachers and more education funding.

“It was exciting to use my voice as a student to interact with the legislators and my peers,” recalled Fox.

The exhilaration of that moment ignited a desire to further champion causes and groups she believes in-a calling she plans to fiercely pursue at New York’s elite Columbia University on a full-ride scholarship from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  

Edmond Memorial High School Senior Grace Fox stands in front of the Bulldog mascot

”I’ve always desired to go bigger and reach farther and New York is the music, cultural and academic epicenter. I will have opportunities there that I can’t get anywhere else,” she declared.

Gate’s scholarships cover tuition, room and board, opportunities to study abroad, internships, travel expenses, medical insurance, and technology needs for up to five years. Of the 36,500 applicants, Fox is one of 300 across the nation to receive the scholarship.

“We are so thrilled that Grace has been selected to receive a Gates scholarship,” said Edmond Memorial Principal Tony Rose. “We can’t think of a more fitting representative from our school. Grace is an exceptionally hard-working and well-rounded student who not only excels academically but is also an accomplished musician, proven leader, and caring friend,”  noted Rose.  “Whatever she sets her mind to she accomplishes, and we are certain that she is destined for a bright future at Columbia University and beyond.”

Fox will be majoring in psychology, minoring in viola performance, and attending law school in order to become a civil rights lawyer and activist.

“It’s gratifying to bring equality to minorities,” she said. “They should have representation.”

Fox says she is “mentally prepared” to leave the security of her family and Oklahoma to pursue her dreams.  She credits her loving parents and her Edmond teachers for providing a nurturing, supportive environment in which to thrive.   

“The Edmond schools have given me a wonderful foundation, and I have loved each and every one of my teachers.”