COLLINSVILLE — Gabriel Broome is ready to make the 1,210-mile trip from Collinsville to New Haven, Connecticut, trading rural Lauderdale County for the Ivy League.
The West Lauderdale High senior is headed to Yale University in the fall, where he will study on a full scholarship. Broome was matched with the prestigious school through a non-profit called QuestBridge, which connects students to educational and scholarship opportunities.
Broome said QuestBridge applying for college easier by consolidating the application process into one packet. The program allowed Broome to apply to colleges such as Yale without having to pay application fees.
“I am pretty excited that I matched with Yale,” Broome said. “It feels pretty good. I think anyone can do it they work hard.”
Broome said the scholarship covers four years of room, board, tuition, books and other school expenses. He may consider work study if he doesn't get any other scholarships, which he is eligible for.
Gabriel's mother, Sherene Broome, said that since her son was a child, he's been interested in school. As a single parent, she worked three or four jobs to provide for her children, encouraging them to succeed.
That experience, Sherene Broome said, made her son humble, leading him to take an active role in his community. The young man stays busy with the Boy Scouts and enjoys spending his summers volunteering at Pine Lake Fellowship, a Christian summer camp.
Matt Graybill, the camp's director, has known Gabriel since he was in third grade, and said that the teen is deserving of the scholarship.
“He really cares about other people,” said Graybill.
Broome said that even though he has not seen Yale's campus yet, he's ready to start school in the fall. He'll get a preview of campus life in April when he visits Yale for the school's Bulldog Days.
For now, Broome isn't sure exactly what he wants to study, but he's considering computer science, philosophy or literature. When he finishes school, Broome says he's not sure if he will stay in New Haven or return to Mississippi, where most of his family lives.
Either way, the young student is looking forward to finding out where his journey will lead him.
“I'm kind of really excited to see what is out there,” said.