Montgomery College students Eve Elias Stowell, Marthe Medalebem Sanjol, and Anna L. Chacon are three of 100 recipients of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s (JKCF) prestigious Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The highly competitive national scholarship will provide the three students with up to $55,000 a year to complete their bachelor’s degrees. This is the first time the College has had three JKCF winners in the same year.
This year, more than 1,200 students from 332 community colleges applied to receive the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The foundation evaluated each submission based on students’ academic ability and achievement, financial need, persistence, and leadership.
With the three students listed below, Montgomery College has had a total of 18 JKCF transfer scholarship winners.
Eve is a member of the Renaissance Scholars Honors Program at the Silver Spring/Takoma Park Campus and is a social justice ambassador and digital storytelling intern. In 2021 she was selected as a Mellon Fellow with the Johns Hopkins University Collaboratory. She presented her research, “Ghosts of Future Linkages between Climate change and Lost Cultural Heritage” at undergraduate research conferences at John Hopkins University and Brown University. She was awarded a 2022 Critical Language Scholarship to study Arabic in Morocco during the summer and was one of two nominees for the Georgetown Preferred Consideration Program. She came to the United States as a refugee from Puerto Rico because of Hurricane Maria. She plans to study international relations at Georgetown University, where she has been accepted. She ultimately plans to work with displaced refugees. She is planning to transfer to Georgetown University.
Marthe is a member of the Renaissance Scholars Honors Program. Active on the Silver Spring/ Takoma Park Campus, she is a member of Alpha Beta Gama, she serves as treasurer of Phi Theta Kappa, secretary of the African Student Association and participated in MC Leads. She was nominated to the All-Maryland Team for her engagement in Phi Theta Kappa and academic achievement. She immigrated from Cameroon as a child and is pursuing a degree in business with an emphasis on accounting. She hopes to earn an M.B.A. in forensic accounting. Accepted to a variety of transfer institutions in Maryland, she is planning to transfer to Stevenson University. She would like to help orphans in Africa and low-income families manage and maximize resources.
Anna is a student in the Montgomery Scholars Honors Program at the Rockville Campus. She is the first Montgomery Scholar to receive a Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. A member of Phi Theta Kappa, Anna is a general studies major with a concentration the social sciences, arts and humanities. Professor Shweta Sen, one of her recommenders, writes, “The most striking characteristic of Anna is her courage and resilience in the face of adversity. Anna and her family have faced tremendous challenges during this Covid-19 pandemic. Anna, therefore, has had to devote a significant number of hours to working and supporting her family, and yet these long work hours and the resulting exhaustion could never dampen her passion for learning and discovering, reading and writing. … She possesses remarkable intellectual curiosity and always goes an extra-length to excel in her academic ventures.” Chacon is hoping to transfer to a college in the Philadelphia area.
In the 2020-21 academic year, four-year colleges and universities saw nearly 200,000 fewernew window transfer enrollment applications nationwide, reflecting the pandemic’s disruptive effect on students and their plans for college. Despite that decline, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation welcomed its largest class of scholars to date, highlighting the talent and achievement of hundreds of community college students across the country. In light of growing financial hardship for so many families, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation also increased the maximum award amount by an extra $15,000 to ensure students can focus on their studies while enrolled.
“This is an extraordinary achievement for these three students. Their diligence and talent have opened the doors to some remarkable opportunity,” said Dr. Jermaine F. Williams, Montgomery College president. “We are also proud of our dedicated faculty and staff who have mentored and guided the 10 JKC semifinalists from Montgomery College this year. That large number is a testament to the students and the student-centered dedication of the College. Our entire community is celebrating with our JKC awardees.”
New Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholars will receive comprehensive educational advising to guide them through the process of transitioning to a four-year college and preparing for their careers. Along with financial support, scholars will additionally receive opportunities for internships, study abroad, and graduate school funding, as well as connection to a thriving network of over nearly 3,000 Cooke scholars and alumni.
A list of this year’s Cooke Transfer Scholars, their community colleges, and their hometowns can be found here.
Courtesy of Montgomery College