50 Community College Students Awarded Prestigious National Scholarship to Transfer to Selective Colleges and Universities

Students gathered together in celebration.

Lansdowne, VA (April 24, 2020) — The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation today announced that 50 high-achieving community college students are selected as recipients of the prestigious Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The highly competitive national scholarship will provide selected students with up to $40,000 a year to complete their bachelor’s degrees.


“We know this is a very uncertain time for many students and their families. We remain deeply committed to supporting high-achieving community college students to ensure they have the resources to reach their full academic potential,” said Seppy Basili, Executive Director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. “We are excited to welcome this new class of Cooke Transfer Scholars to our community and looking forward to seeing the many amazing things they do as they continue on their transfer journey.”


In addition to financial support, new Cooke Transfer Scholars will receive comprehensive educational advising from the Foundation to guide them through the process of transitioning to a four-year college and preparing for their careers. Scholars will additionally receive opportunities for internships, study abroad, and graduate school funding, as well as connection to a thriving network of over 2,700 fellow Cooke Scholars and alumni.


Nearly 1,500 students from 311 community colleges applied for the 2020 Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The Foundation evaluated each submission based on students’ academic ability and achievement, financial need, persistence, leadership, and service to others. The recipients selected represent 17 different states and plan to enroll at the nation’s most selective colleges.


A list of the 2020 Cooke Transfer Scholars, including the community colleges and states they represent, can be found below.


Aljon Celis – Wallace State Community College at Hanceville


Abigaly Atonal Rodriguez – Mesa Community College
Maria Rodriquez – Phoenix College


Mariam Alaverdian – Los Angeles City College
Juan Becerra – Los Angeles Pierce College
Khadijah Bint Sadiq Abdulmateen – MiraCosta College
Ava Davari – MiraCosta College
Hanan Dirirsa – San Diego Mesa College
Jenel Fraij – Hartnell College
Harutyun Rehanyan – Los Angeles Valley College
Hoang Tran – Mount San Antonio College
Licol Zeinfeld – MiraCosta College


Hamzeh Alturk – Miami Dade College
Liz De Armas Mestre – Miami Dade College
Reinaldo Figueroa – Miami Dade College
Ivan Franco – Palm Beach State College
Daliany Gerena Guerrido – Seminole State College of Florida
Nelson Hidalgo – Miami Dade College
Kathleen McBride – Seminole State College of Florida
Alexander Moker – Daytona State College
Jennifer Tolliver – Valencia College


Israel Agundis – Dalton State College
Diana Ha – Perimeter College at Georgia State University
Matthew Wessler – Perimeter College at Georgia State University


Heather Atherton – City Colleges of Chicago: Wilbur Wright College
Amelia Baldwin – Oakton Community College


Ali Kurmasha – Washtenaw Community College


Savannah Barnes – Pearl River Community College
Torrance McIntosh – Itawamba Community College


Alan Cruz – College of Southern Nevada

New Jersey

Abdellah Amrhar – Hudson County Community College
Luis Cedeno Vera – Bergen Community College
Marie Febrillet – Passaic County Community College
Kamilla Kocsis – Union County College

New York

Nidaa Aljabbarin – Onondaga Community College
Jaweria Bakar – City University of New York: Kingsborough Community College
Jose Cevallos – City University of New York: Borough of Manhattan Community College
Biling Chen – City University of New York: Queensborough Community College

North Carolina

Christian Donaldson – Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College


Tyler McKenzie – Redlands Community College
Justin West – Tulsa Community College


Jamie Ratchford – Northampton Community College


Samantha Benavides – Cleveland State Community College
Gary Satin – Chattanooga State Community College


Daniel Landaverde – Northeast Texas Community College
Humberto Leal Acosta – Lone Star College System


Faiz Adem – Northern Virginia Community College
Reham Elsayed – Northern Virginia Community College
Judith Obregon – Northern Virginia Community College

One additional Cooke Transfer Scholar did not opt into publicity.


The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Since 2000, the Foundation has awarded over $200 million in scholarships to over 2,700 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive educational advising and other support services. The Foundation has also provided $110 million in grants to organizations that serve such students. www.jkcf.org

Media Contact: Jenna Schuette Talbot, 760-390-6978, jenna@whiteboardadvisors.com