By Teresa Acosta
Three East Los Angeles College students received scholarships from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.
Janelle Chan, Yazmin Mata and Ho Yan Yip were awarded the Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship that includes up to $40,000 per year to attend an undergraduate school.
The student can pursue any area of study with the grant. Winners are assigned a personal adviser to assist them with college selection and to navigate financial aid for transfer to a four-year college. The goal of their adviser is to maximize the student’s experience.
The Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is annually awarded to 72 top performing community college students looking to transfer to a four-year college or university to complete a bachelor’s degree.
The scholarship exists to assist high achieving students who can benefit from support financial and educational counseling.
It also gives the winners access to a community of scholars and alumni through events, mentoring programs and social media.
Janelle Chan is a first-generation student from the Philippines. She is transferring to Cornell University as a Human Development major. Her goal is to become a physician.
Chan is part of the John Delloro Program, Extended Opportunity Programs and Services, Honors Program and the Mathematics Engineering Science and Achievement Program. In high school and college she has worked as a nighttime caregiver to help support herself.
Chan feels blessed to have won the scholarship and said the application process was a learning experience for her.
“I told myself that even if I don’t get it, I’m still grateful that I was able to finish the whole application because I learned more about myself. I was also able to meet new mentors who guided me throughout the process,” Chan said.
Yazmin Mata is a first-generation undocumented Latina, majoring in Sociology and minoring in Political Science. She is a member of the Pathway to Law Program.
Mata previously interned for Article 42 Tenure, AFT 1521, an organization of community college students who visit with assembly member’s staff to inform them of the importance of funding community colleges. She has also been a part of the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services at ELAC.
Going through the college navigation process alone has inspired Mata to use the knowledge she has gained to help others.
“My dream is to go to law school and potentially get a master’s in Public Policy or a Ph.D. I really want to do research on the undocumented community as it is a community that is perceived through a narrative imposed on them which only dehumanizes them.
“What motivates me is knowing that I am a mediator between my community and those who have the power to influence it for better or worse. This is why I not only see my education for my own personal growth and future financial stability but something I can bring back to my community and help them benefit from,” Mata said.
Ho Yan Yip is an economics major; she began her time at ELAC in the spring of 2019. She is currently the Associated Student Union Vice President of Finance and the Region VII Treasurer for the Student Senate of California Community Colleges.
Yip loves working with diverse groups of students as a tutor in the learning center, as a Math Supplemental Instruction Coach and as an embedded economics tutor for Professor Coson and Professor Kirby.
“Meeting students like first-generation students, single parent students, and undocumented students has motivated me to dedicate myself in this community, providing my leadership and attaining academic justice,” Yip said.