Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Announces Two Cypress College Students as Semifinalists

Cypress College students Madison Morris and Raymond Pi Oliver are semifinalists for the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation announced that the pair were selected from a pool of nearly 1,500 applicants representing 369 colleges across 45 states and the District of Columbia.

Morris, a Placentia resident, is preparing for a career in the medical field. Oliver, from the City of Cypress, is part of Cypress College’s (STEM)2 Program.

“I think it speaks volumes to the quality of education I have received at Cypress College,” Morris said of her selection as a semifinalist. “Thanks to the instruction and support I have received here, I am now a contender for a highly competitive national scholarship. Thank you, Cypress College, for making this possible! I am incredibly excited, honored, and grateful for this opportunity to be considered by a national foundation such as the JKCF.”

Oliver has completed research at NASA’s Stenis Space Center in Mississippi as one of 319 community college students from across the United States and recently represented the (STEM)2 Program as a speaker at the groundbreaking for Cypress College’s new Science, Engineering, and Math Building.

“I owe so much to Cypress College, the Science, Engineering, and Math Division, and the EOPS and Honors programs — and, in particular, the (STEM)2 Program,” said Oliver, who dropped out of high school because of financial hardship. “Coming to Cypress College has absolutely changed my life. When I was still homeless during my first two semesters, I came to love Cypress College and regard our beautiful campus as a second home. I would be nothing without this college.”

The Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship recipients will be announced in April. Each selected scholar will be provided generous financial support for up to three years, college planning services, ongoing advising, and the opportunity to connect with a thriving community of fellow Cooke Scholars.

“Countless highly-talented and motivated students begin their college experience at community college, and our recent ‘Persistence’ report shows that they excel after they transfer,” said Seppy Basili, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. “We’re pleased to recognize this incredible cohort of semifinalists for their academic drive and achievement.”

A list of this year’s Cooke Transfer Scholar Semifinalists, their community colleges, and their hometowns is available here.

About the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation:
Cooke Transfer Scholars are selected based on exceptional academic ability and achievement, financial need, persistence, service to others, and leadership. Students must be currently enrolled community college students residing in the United States.

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Since 2000, the Foundation has awarded $190 million in scholarships to nearly 2,500 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive counseling and other support services. The Foundation has also provided over $100 million in grants to organizations that serve such students. Information is available at www.jkcf.org.

About Cypress College:
Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice and for others it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting-edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College offers 56 university-transfer majors, 176 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 73 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 115-campus California Community College System. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

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