In The News


16 Cooke Scholarship Semi-Finalists: Tops in the State

Essex County College (ECC) has had more Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship recipients (17) than any other community college in New Jersey and New York. Now, 16 ECC students have been selected 2019 semi-finalists for the prestigious scholarship, which carries an award of $120,000 for three years at a four-year college or university.

The 16 semi-finalists are the most from any one community college in the state this year.

“Congratulations to all, this is wonderful news,” said President Dr. Anthony E. Munroe. “For 50 years we have been making a tremendous difference for our students and this is another shining example.”

The semi-finalists are Edward Dimbo (Bloomfield), Anthony Prado Neto (Newark), Johanna Navas (Newark), Sena Dzirasa (East Orange), Cody Cross (East Orange), Man Ling Situ Huang (Bloomfield), Cynthia Caceres Sanchez (Newark), Clervens Clerjuste (Orange), Ahmed Elmonier (Newark), Gabriela Saboia-Barrios (Newark), Mardoche Torry Auguste (West Orange), Marshal Oyama (Newark), Falade Aderibigbe (Irvington), Massaer Mar (Hillside), Yelitza Perez (Newark), and Misheil Quispe (Orange). Edward Dimbo’s brother, Ernest, was an Essex Cooke scholarship recipient in 2016 and recently graduated from Boston University.

The Virginia-based Foundation will announce the scholarship recipients in April This year there were 1,500 applications from 369 colleges in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Last year, Essex had seven semi-finalists, with two students earning the scholarships.

“This news clearly shows our students are truly dedicated to education,” said Dr. Ladylease White, Founder and Director of the College’s Honors Program. Many of the semi-finalists are in that rigorous program.

“I am also deeply grateful to our faculty, administrators and staff who support our students. They have written student recommendations, reviewed essays and are always there to help in any way they can,” Dr. White said.

Through the Honors Program’s Success Series, information has been made available to the entire student population about the Cooke scholarships. “We are always getting the word out,” she said. Last year’s recipients, John Nwankwo and Leonardo Ruales, participated in one of the series workshop’s last fall.

Cooke Transfer Scholars are selected based on exceptional academic ability and achievement, financial need, persistence, service to others, and leadership.

Previous Essex County College Cooke recipients include:

2018: John Nwankwo and Leonardo Ruales

2017: Esdras Malbranche

2016: Ernest Dimbo

2015: Dayana Arrue and Jessica Bennett

2014: Silvia Huerta and Sofia Medina

2013: Kamika Bennett, Karolina Caravelli-Campos and Diego Cruz-Burbano

2012: Renata Martin, Carla Alvarez-Valverde and Emanuel Martinez

2008: David Kariuki and Bertheleau Ngakam

2006: Jose Medina