By Mannie Miguel
Fernando Jaime received the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship for $30,000 last week in front of his Calculus class. This is the largest scholarship in the nation for community college students.
Transfer Center Director Paulina Palomino said that not only are we the only school in the Los Angeles City College District to have this scholarship available to our students but also in southern California.
In mid-December, a committee of 10 faculty teachers volunteered to choose four students out of 18 that applied from ELAC this year to send their applications to Washington, D.C. for the last national rounds held once a year.
The award is given to students who are transferring to a four-year university in the upcoming year.
The scholarship is renewable for three years and for postgraduate studies as long as the students meet the criteria given by the foundation.
Students need to maintain a 3.5 or better GPA, maintain a relationship with the foundation and keep up with the requirements asked from the counselor.
Jaime’s achievement marks the fifth time an ELAC student received this scholarship.
He is the latest awardee and is majoring in computer science.
He applied to Cornell University, an Ivy League school in New York and the University of California, Irvine. He was accepted to the University of California, San Diego.
“The magnitude of this news has still to sink in for my entire family, including me, but we are extremely grateful for the opportunity i have been given,” Jaime said.
Other Elans who have received the scholarship in the past were Charlene Gomez, a sociology major, who transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles.
Also, Lisa Watanabe, mathematics major who went to the University of California, Berkeley, Christian Aviles who majored in sociology and went to Amherst College in Massachusetts, and Karina Hermawan, an economics major graduated from UC Berkeley and is now going to the University of California.
This scholarship has been available to students for the past six years after Oscar Valeriano, Vice President of Student Services, heard about it and asked Palomino to help spread the word.
Palomino went to different departments to tell teachers and faculty members to have a look out for students who could qualify for this scholarship. She also organized the committee that helps select the four students whose applications are sent to the national rounds and did various other things to help spread the word of this incredible scholarship.
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation launched in 2000. The foundation’s mission statement is, “to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential through education.”
Every year, the foundation helps about 650 students pay for their education.
Jack Kent Cooke, born in Ontario, Canada, was a self-made millionaire who owned the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association, the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League, the Washington Redskins of the National Football League and built the Forum in Inglewood and the Fed Ex Field near Landover, Maryland home of the Washington Redskins.
He died in 1997 at the age of 84 and stated in his will that he wanted a bulk of his $825 million to establish the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.