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Foundation Announces 2011 Undergraduate Transfer Scholarships


‘Cream of the Community College Crop’ Awarded Undergraduate Transfer Scholarships
from Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

Lansdowne, VA – For 60 community college graduates, their dreams of becoming doctors, lawyers, social workers and engineers are now much closer to reality because they no longer have to worry about how to pay for their educations.
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation today announced its Class of 2011 Undergraduate Transfer Scholars: 60 outstanding community college students who will be transferring to top-tier universities and colleges across the United States.  The Foundation will provide each student with a scholarship valued at up to $30,000 per year for up to three years. 
All of the Scholars have financial need, have completed their two-year college coursework with honors, and have been involved in service projects both on and off their campuses.
But that’s where the similarities end. Twenty-four were born overseas and a few others were infants when their parents immigrated to the United States. They’ve been attending schools in 19 states, and range in age from 18 to 51. (A full list of the Scholars including their hometowns and native countries is included below).
“Community college gave them a chance to explore their dreams,” said Dr. Lawrence Kutner, the Foundation’s executive director.  “We’re helping them take the next step by removing the financial burden of attending a top-quality school.”
In addition to careers in medicine, law, social work and engineering, the Scholars have their sights set on journalism, marine biology, international affairs and teaching. 
Since the program’s founding in 2002, approximately 410 students have received more than $17-million in Undergraduate Transfer scholarships from the Foundation.
All 60 Scholars have distinguished themselves both in and out of the classroom, performing valuable community and public service, often while holding full-time jobs.  Among the 2011 Scholars are:
Curtwin Bismark, a native of Zimbabwe, arrived in America with his parents’ life savings, $300, and enrolled at Houston Community College. He eventually graduated with honors. As a youngster in Africa, Curtwin walked 8km to and from school barely having shoes on his feet.  When he reached teenage years, Curtwin began teaching at night to illiterate villagers in Bulawayo, his community in Zimbabwe. His goal is to attain a degree in economics and return to Zimbabwe and hopefully improve life for the people in his native land.
Aichen Sung and AiLing Sung, were both born in Taiwan and came to Chicago when their father, a minister, accepted a church assignment in the Windy City.  Both girls were honor students at Wilbur Wright College.  Aichen (age 19) was a biology major and AiLing (age 21) majored in accounting. Even though the sisters spoke very little English when they arrived in the states, neither made excuses and both dug in to their assignments . . . and both became “voracious readers.”  As AiLing said: “I learned not to make excuses for myself but simply to believe that I could always do better and reach higher.” Aichen’s current plans are to transfer to the University of California at Berkeley while AiLing will stay close to home and will begin studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Twila Ramirez is a 38-year-old mother of four children who got a late start on college, but not on life. After high school, Twila went to Mexico on a church service mission.  There she found her calling and her husband, who became an ordained minister. Her mission in life is to help others.  While raising a family, volunteering wherever possible, and overseeing activities at the Hope of the Nations Christian Center in Reading, Twila managed to register a perfect GPA at the local community college.  Her goal is to transfer to Franklin & Marshall College and eventually become an immigration attorney.
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The 2011 Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Recipients Are:
Bahareh Adami Ardestani, Citrus Heights, CA (Iran)
Neam Alazawi, Dearborn, MI (Iraq)
Angela Allison, Bryan, TX
Vivian Andreani, Nevada, MO (Brazil)
Christian Aviles, Los Angeles, CA (Mexico)
Lisa Bastio, Pomona, CA
Curtwin Bismark, Houston, TX (Zimbabwe)
Patricia Boone, Redding, CA
Jerry Byers, Kansas City, MO
Stephanie Caldwell, Harrison, MI
Matthew Cornett, Wayne, MI
Steven Crist, Orlando, FL
Danna Culhane, Seattle, WA
Danielle Demopoulos, Dobbs Ferry, NY
Amber Forrestal, El Paso, TX
Daniel Gomez, Southampton, NY (Colombia)
Vesta Grubb, Baytown, TX
Stephanie Harrison, Makawao, HI
Anna Jeschke, Armonk, NY, (Germany)
Luz Jimenez Vela, Orange, CA (Mexico)
Rahel Kebede, Silver Spring, MD (Ethiopia)
Amarinh Kongmanivong, Jamestown, NC (Laos)
Koffi Rene Yves Kouassi, San Bernardino, CA
Jessica LaPlante, Wheaton, IL
Alma Lemus, Farmersville, CA (Mexico)
Daniel Leon, Orlando, FL (Venezuela)
Maxwell Matite, Olathe, KS (Kenya)
Cynthia Morales, Bronx, NY
Amanda Muledy, Wheeling, IL
Theophilus Offei, Santa Cruz, CA (Ghana)
Faithful Okoye, Plantation, FL (Nigeria)
Stephen Olsen, Los Angeles, CA
Lark Omura, Berkeley, CA
Maria Palar, Somerset, NJ
Maryknoll Palisoc, Las Vegas, NV (The Philippines)
Hanna Pashkevich, Philadelphia, PA (Belarus)
Michelle Pecheck, Placentia, CA
Twila Ramirez, Wyomissing, PA
Aurora Randolph, Loveland, CO
Menachem Sahler, Springfield, MA
David Seale, Denville, NJ
Shannon Sheltra, West Newbury, MA
Kyle Stevenson, Clifton, VA
Aichen Sung, Chicago, IL (Taiwan)
AiLing Sung, Chicago, IL (Taiwan)
Theresa Taylor, Saratoga Springs, NY
Astride Tchoffo, Tucson, AZ (Cameroon)
Larry Thi, Philadelphia, PA
Rebekah Tolopilo, Temecula, CA
Chiemeka Ugochukwu, Tyrone, GA (Nigeria)
Sophia VanKlootwyk-Forde, Ben Lomond, CA
Angela Warren, Waddell, AZ
Lisa Watanabe, Arcadia, CA
Christina Wheeler, Evanston, IL
Christopher Wilbur, New Bedford, MA
Merissa Williams Brickey, Johnson City, TN
Iann Wu, San Francisco, CA (Hong Kong)
Susan Wu, Germantown, MD
Bitian Zhang, Northampton, MA (China)
Amos Zimmermann, Splendora, TX





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