Advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need

Jack Kent Cooke Announces 2009 Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Recipients


Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Awards 30 High-Achieving Community
 College Students Scholarships To Complete Their Bachelor’s Degree
The Prestigious Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Gives The Nation’s Top Community College Students Financial Help To Attend Four-Year Institution
Lansdowne VA – The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has awarded scholarships to 30 of the nation’s best community college students so they can transfer to four-year colleges and universities and complete their bachelor’s degree. The Foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Program, the most generous and competitive program of its kind, provides up to $30,000 a year for up to three years to exceptional community college students. This year, 30 students were selected from a pool of over 450 applicants.
In the fall, the Scholars will attend some of the best public and private colleges and universities in the nation, including Columbia University, Cornell University, Georgetown University, Smith College, Emory University, Johns Hopkins University, University of California, Berkeley, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Washington University-St. Louis.  
Although earning a bachelor’s degree is more important than ever to economic success, many of the six million students who attend two-year community colleges face difficulty reaching that goal. The Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship program gives a much-needed financial boost to promising students who need help to complete their college education. 
Many four-year institutions, including some of the most elite universities in the nation, do not admit transfer students or make it very difficult for transfer students to attend their schools. For example, Princeton University has a longstanding policy against admitting any transfer students and, last year, Harvard University instituted a moratorium on accepting transfer students. Giving high-achievers the opportunity to get a bachelor’s degree, including those in the community college pipeline, is an important goal for the United States, which once led the world in postsecondary education completion rates, and today ranks 10th.
“These students represent the best of the best,” says Matthew Quinn, the Foundation’s executive director. “These are some of the most determined high achieving students. They deserve the chance to pursue their academic dream.”   
This year’s scholarship recipients hail from 17 states and the District of Columbia and 14 foreign countries including Peru, Costa Rica, China, Cameroon, Bulgeria, Russia, Mexico and Cuba.  They range in age from 20 to 51 and include a single, working mother, the first person in her family to go to college, a child of migrant workers, a future doctor from Cameroon, and a high-school dropout who wants to be an engineer.
Among the notable 2009 Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Recipients:
·        Richael Young, the first member of her family to attend college, states “I made a conscious decision to take advantage of every opportunity that presented itself to me.” And so she will this fall. The 20-year old plans to earn an environmental engineering degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  
·        Callistus Ditah, a Minnesotan who arrived from a tiny village in Cameroon only three years ago, the 23-year old hopes to become a doctor. Ditah, who will attend the University of Minnesota, is already giving back. He donates a portion of what he earns to a scholarship program he created to students back home.
·        Victoria White, a former legal assistant in Atlanta, Georgia, will study English and public policy at Emory University. She aspires to be a writer for an economic think tank. 
The scholarship is intended to cover a significant share of the student’s educational expenses, including tuition, living expenses, books and required fees for the final two-to-three years needed to achieve a bachelor’s degree. Awards vary by individuals and are based on the cost of tuition as well as other grants or scholarships that a student may have. Since the program began in 2002, the Foundation has awarded more than 300 scholarships.

About the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private foundation dedicated to helping young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential through education. The Foundation provides challenging opportunities to high achievers from lower-income families through its Young Scholars Program, generous scholarships for undergraduate and graduate study, and grants to nonprofit organizations and educational institutions.

The 2009 Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Recipients are:
Alessandro Bailetti, Pensacola, Florida
Benjamin Bingham, Seffner, Florida
Jose Carvajal-Regidor, Lawrence, Kansas
Lydia Chan, Yonkers, New York
Anahi Cortada, Hialeah, Florida
Janice DeJordy, Scotia, New York
Callistus Ditah, Bloomington, Minnesota
Yiqing Dong, Naperville, Illinois
Jacob Ferina, Madison, Wisconsin
Iolanda Ferrara, Randolph, Massachusetts
Charlene Gomez, Alhambra, California
Derval Hamilton, Hickory, North Carolina
Kelly Hargesheimer, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Karina Hermawan, Monterey Park, California
Veselina Hristova, Nevada, Missouri
Fawn Leipold, Parkville, Maryland
Julio Maldonado-Garcia, San Francisco, California
Shamil Mirzoev, Rochester, Minnesota
Promise Olomo, Forestville, Maryland
Sally Rodriguez, Winter Springs, Florida
Edward Sawyer, Arlington, Virginia
Monirath Siv, Long Beach, California
Neida Soto, Smyrna, Georgia
Xiwen Wang, West Covina, California
Brian Watson, Moss Point, Mississippi
Victoria White, Atlanta Georgia
John Windham, Tucson, Arizona
Camiliana Wood, Longview, Washington
Richael Young, Foster City, California
Kiro Yovkov, St. Louis, Missouri





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