Bro. James A. Petrait, O.S.F.S.


Zipporah-Lakshmi Inniss in St. Croix's Civil Air Patrol


Zipporah-Lakshmi Inniss, a 2000 graduate of St. Joseph High School on St.Croix, has been named a Gates Millennium Scholar (GMS) and is a member of its inaugural class. Inniss was one of only 8 recipients of this prestigious scholarship in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The GMS initiative is funded by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and it pays for all college tuition, room and board, and living expenses that are not covered by any other scholarship or grant.

Inniss is using her scholarship at the University of Rochester and is majoring in Microbiology and the Pre-Med program. She plans to go into the medical field and return to St.Croix to make use of her talents in theservice of others.

I have have been fortunate of being able to teach all 4 years of high school science to Inniss. The subjects included Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics and Inniss excelled in them and in all of her high school subjects. In February, 2000, Inniss was eager to download the entire GMS application using the internet connection in her Physics class. After filling out the forms and securing all of the necessary recommendations, Inniss was confident that she would be chosen and she had every reason to be.

Her list of high school accomplishments is extensive. Some of these are: the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair certificates in 1998, 1999and a 2000 Finalist; Virgin Islands Science Bowl Competition 1999Certificate and Medal; Eastman Kodak Award for outstanding photography in a science project; United States Army Silver Award Certificate for an Outstanding science project; Congressional Award certificates and Bronze andSilver Medals; 1997 World AIDS Day Essay Contest Certificate; 1999 World AIDS Day Poem Contest Certificate; Captain and member of the St. Joseph H.S. JETS Team which placed 16th in the nation; Society for in Vitro Biology Certificate of Outstanding Achievement in In Vitro Biology; Mars Polar Lander Participation Certificate; Presidential Sports Award Certificate and medal; American Red Cross Service Award Certificate; First Place winner of the St. Joseph High School Science Symposium of the New Millennium; and the list can goes on and on! In the meantime Inniss found time to be a Drill and FirstSergeant in St.Croix's Civil Air Patrol and to be President of the 4 -H from 1998 to 2000.

Inniss is already making her mark at the University of Rochester by advancing quickly in the many courses that she is taking. She is another one in a long line of successful and outstanding graduates of St. Joseph High School. Inniss's favorite poem is "No Man Is An Island" by John Donne which sums up her longing to do her best in order to return and to be of service to the people of St. Croix.