By Jade Inglada
Sophomore Eric Huynh became the seventh person from East Los Angeles College to receive the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, valued at $40,000.
It is the largest private scholarship available to community college transfer students in the country.
Huynh will receive that amount each year for up to three years as he completes his bachelor’s degree. The award will help pay for tuition, books and supplies, living expenses and other necessities while he attends university.
Huynh was the only winner this year from the Los Angeles Community College District.
“ELAC’s last winner received the scholarship last year,” Transfer Center Director Paulina Palomino said. “We have a good track record with students and this scholarship.”
The last student who won the award transferred to the California Institute of Technology.
Although counselors and instructors usually promote scholarships such as the Jack Kent Cooke scholarship and encourage students to apply, Palomino said few actually end up completing the process.
“It’s very time consuming and students often get disheartened by the lengthy application,” Palomino said.
The process is lengthy because applicants have to work on answering questions correctly and finding professors willing to write recommendation letters.
Palomino leads workshops in the fall for students to learn how to write a competitive application.
“Students who have done this type of application (will) tell you it gets easier to create a profile of yourself for the future,” she said.
Palomino said, from the perspective of the review board, they look out for students who go beyond what’s required and make an effort to get involved with their colleges.
Huynh is involved in various programs and activities on campus such as MESA, Honors, Extended Opportunity Program & Services (EOPS) and is the Commissioner of Mathematical Concepts for the Associated Student Union.
“He (Eric) is an example of taking advantage of what ELAC has to offer,” Palomino said.
About 85 students throughout the nation win each year.
Huynh was accepted to his first choice public school the University of California, Berkeley, but is still waiting to hear from private universities Columbia and Stanford before he makes his decision of where to go.
Applications for the Jack Kent Cooke scholarship are open from October to December. For more information and the criteria, go to jkcf.org/scholarship-programs, or call Palomino at (323) 265-8977.