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21 Apr 2017

Single mom wins prestigious $40,000-a-year Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, moving her closer to her goal as a physician assistant

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April 21, 2017 Category: Local Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO:  Community College of Philadelphia President Dr. Donald Generals presents Jennifer Myers, with the Community College of Philadelphia’s Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship certificate.

Jennifer Myers, a student in Community College of Philadelphia’s Diagnostic Medical Imaging program, is one of 55 students to be awarded the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, the largest private scholarship in the nation. It provides high-achieving, service-oriented community college students up to $40,000 per year to complete their bachelor’s degrees.

Myers is the first African-American, and the second female, from Community College of Philadelphia to win the prestigious scholarship. She is the fourth recipient in the past seven years. Larry Lieu, the 2012 recipient, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015, and continued his remarkable journey at Oxford University, after being named the Cooke Foundation’s first Oxford Scholar.

Approximately 3,000 community college students nationwide applied for the scholarship this year. The selection process for the scholarship is highly competitive, and about 55 scholarships are awarded each year. Scholarships are given to students based on the following criteria: achievement and academic ability, financial need, persistence, leadership, and service to others.

The scholarship covers a significant share of the student’s educational expenses, including tuition, living expenses, books and required fees necessary to receive a bachelor’s degree.

Myers, who lives in Fairmount, has been accepted to Thomas Jefferson University, and will complete her bachelor’s degree in the university’s general sonography program after graduating Community College of Philadelphia this year. After graduation, Myers is looking to further her education and become a physician assistant. As a Cooke Scholar, she will then be eligible to apply for a scholarship for graduate school worth up to $50,000 a year up to four years.

“We are very honored and proud that Jennifer has been recognized by the Jack Cooke Kent Foundation. She is an outstanding student and this is a well-deserved scholarship,” said Dr. Donald Generals, president of the College. “At Community College of Philadelphia, we change lives, as Jennifer will tell you.  Our faculty and staff are fully engaged with students from the time they enter the classroom to the day they graduate.”

Dr. Linda Powell, Department Head of Biology, said Jennifer was a dedicated student. “From the very beginning, I knew she had great potential and could go far in her academics,” Powell said. “I was one of several faculty members at the College who advised Jennifer about Jack Kent Cooke and mentored her through the application process. It truly is an amazing accomplishment that Jennifer is one of 55 people in the country to receive such an award,” she added.

Myers, a single parent and over 40 years old, never thought she was meant to be a scholar. Before entering college, she had a successful career in the insurance industry, but she wasn’t satisfied.  Since going back to college, she developed an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and desire to realize her academic potential. She chose to follow her academic journey in the healthcare field because she has a passion for the science behind the technology, the patient care and wanting to help people live lives free of pain and illness.

“My college experience has been a second chance. When I was young, I didn’t work to my full potential. When entering college, I needed to take remedial math class before I could go even further. I took on that challenge and even exceeded my expectations by taking statistics and calculus. Tenacity was the key to my success and my hard work has really paid off,” Myers said. “I am so grateful to receive this scholarship that will allow to me continue my journey of academic success.”

“Our Undergraduate Transfer Scholars have a proven record of accomplishment at elite colleges and universities and have gone on to successful careers in many professions,” Cooke Foundation Executive Director Harold O. Levy said. “This is among the most prestigious scholarships in the country and we are extremely proud of the talented students who have been selected.”

According to the American Association of Community Colleges, “nearly half of all undergraduates in the United States attend community colleges,” amounting to 12.3 million students.

About Community College of Philadelphia

Community College of Philadelphia is the largest public institution of higher education in Philadelphia, and the sixth largest in Pennsylvania. The College enrolls approximately 34,000 students annually and offers day, evening, and weekend classes, as well as classes online. Visit the College at Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook.

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