Future computer engineer and neurosurgeon receive support to complete goals.

Future computer engineer and neurosurgeon receive support to complete goals.

MCC alumni awarded Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship

MESA, Arizona – May 25, 2016 – Mesa Community College (MCC) proudly announces Derek Fermaint and Jacob Sorenson have each been awarded a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship worth up to $40,000 a year to complete a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university.

These most recent MCC alumni are following different career paths with the same fervor. Fermaint will continue his pursuit of bachelor’s degrees in computer engineering and physics this fall at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University. Sorenson, a future neurosurgeon, will continue his studies at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine.

Fermaint, a 2016 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) National Community College Aerospace Scholar (NCAS) and MCC math tutor said, “It is truly a dream come true to get the amazing privilege of completely immersing myself in intellectual endeavors 24/7. I aspire to seek the most challenging opportunities and become the best engineer I can be in order to solve some of the biggest problems facing humanity. MCC believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself at times, and now that I have the JKC Foundation supporting me, I’m not going to let anyone down.”

“I feel extremely humbled to be one of 75 students in the nation to be named a Cooke scholar,” said Sorenson, a 2016 All-Arizona Academic Team First Team and a Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Silver Scholar. “It is an incredible feeling to see my goals being reached as I continue on my path to medical school. I would not be here without the love and support of so many individuals in my life. As a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar, I have the responsibility to achieve my very best while giving back to my community and school in any way that I can.”

Seventy-five community college students were selected for scholarships from a competitive nationwide pool this year. All of the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholars have financial need and strong records of academic achievement as shown by grades, leadership skills, awards, extraordinary service to others and perseverance in the face of adversity.

The Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is the largest private scholarship in the nation for students transferring from two-year community colleges to four-year institutions that award bachelor’s degrees.

“Many elite colleges and universities are reluctant to admit large numbers of transfer students from community colleges, even when these students have excellent grades and other qualifications,” said Cooke Foundation Executive Director Harold O. Levy. “This is unfair and unwise. The Cooke Foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholars have a long record of success at the most selective colleges and graduate schools, such as the Ivy League in the United States and the University of Oxford in Great Britain. These extraordinary young people have proven repeatedly and conclusively that top community college students have the ability to thrive in top four-year colleges. They deserve equal educational opportunity.”

Cooke Scholarships fund the costs of attending college not covered by other financial aid, plus academic advising, stipends for internships, study abroad and opportunities to network with other Cooke Scholars and alumni. In addition, after earning a bachelor’s degree, each Cooke Scholar will be eligible for a scholarship for graduate school worth up to $50,000 annually up to four years.

According to the American Association of Community Colleges, 45 percent of the undergraduate students in the United States were attending community colleges in 2014.

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Jack Kent Cooke Foundation: David Egner, 202-779-1743, EgnerCommunications@outlook.com
Mesa Community College: Dawn Zimmer, 480-461-7892, dawn.zimmer@mesacc.edu

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. It offers the largest scholarships in the U.S., comprehensive counseling and other support services to students from 8th grade to graduate school. Since 2000 it has awarded about $147 million in scholarships to more than 2,000 students and $90 million in grants to organizations that serve outstanding low-income students. Visit www.jkcf.org to learn more.

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for its service-learning, civic engagement and innovative educational programs, which include university transfer, career and technical, workforce development, and lifelong learning. Host to nearly 40,000 students annually, MCC offers more than 195 degrees and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations. MCC’s student body hails predominantly from the East Valley of Phoenix and includes Veteran, American Indian and International students who enrich the learning experience. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to compete locally and globally. MCC is one of 10 colleges that comprise the Maricopa County Community College District. The District also includes the Maricopa Corporate College and two skill centers. For additional information, visit mesacc.edu.

Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) https://www.ncahlc.org, 800-621-7440.

The Maricopa County Community College District is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

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