Three Essex County College (ECC) students will receive up to $30,000 per year to cover educational expenses, including tuition, living expenses, books and required fees, toward their four-year degrees, as recipients of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, the largest private national scholarship. Dr. Ed Knox, Acting Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Dr. Phil Linfante, Executive Dean of Student Success made the surprise announcement to the students at the ECC Board of Trustees meeting on April 16. The 2013 Jack Kent Cooke Scholars are Kamika Bennett, a biology major; Karolina Caravelli-Campos, a business major; and Diego Cruz-Burbano, an engineering major.
The 2013 student honorees follow a trio of 2012 ECC graduates who also received the prestigious scholarship. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation reported that Essex County College is the only community college in the country with three recipients in two consecutive years. The 2012 graduates all went on to attend Ivy League colleges including Columbia University, Brown University and University of Pennsylvania.
Founded in 2000 by the estate of Jack Kent Cooke, a prominent businessman, sportsman and philanthropist, The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private, independent foundation dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need, from elementary school to graduate school, through scholarships, grants, direct service, and knowledge creation and dissemination. For the past 13 years, The Foundation has awarded $100 million in scholarships to more than 1,900 students, and $70 million in grants to organizations that support its mission.
Members of ECC’s Honors Program and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the new scholars will graduate this May and are among 73 community college students to be awarded this year’s scholarship in the United States.