Miami Dade College sets Record with Seven Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Winners

(L-R) Alejandro Garcia, Victor Garnica, Fiorenza A. Herrera Diaz, Neyton Fernandez, Clarisel Lozano, John Lizano, Yeniselis Morales awarded the  Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarships 

First time in Jack Kent Cook Foundation’s history that it awards seven scholarships to students from one institution at one time

Miami, April 24, 2019 – A record-breaking seven Miami Dade College (MDC) students were awarded the coveted Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarships worth up to $40,000 annually for a maximum of three years while they complete bachelor’s degrees. It’s the first time in the program’s history that it grants seven scholarships to students from one institution at one time. 

Meet this year’s MDC winners:

Hialeah Campus graduate Victor Garnica is obtaining a degree in business administration. He won a Gold President’s Volunteer Service Award for more than 450 community service hours and was a finalist for the Newman Civic Fellowship.

Alejandro Garcia, a political science major and Phi Theta Kappa President at the InterAmerican Campus, has applied to Yale and Georgetown Universities, among other Ivy League schools. He plans to pursue a career practicing constitutional law before entering politics.

Clarisel Lozano studied biology at the Kendall Campus and biomedical research at the University of Miami through the Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program in order to prepare for a career in medicine. She intends to work as a cardio-thoracic surgeon. Her top choices for transfer schools include the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Cornell University and Johns Hopkins University.

John Lizano is a double major in public health and biology at the Kendall Campus. He recently attended the Clinton Global Initiative University conference at the University of Chicago where he presented a program to educate the community about diabetes. He aspires to become an endocrinologist specializing in type 2 diabetes prevention and treatment while also researching health inequality in low-income communities.

Yeniselis Morales, North Campus biology major, has applied to some of the country’s top schools, including Harvard, Princeton, Cornell University, Yale, and Johns Hopkins universities. She led the effort to re-establish the Doctors Without Borders student chapter at Miami Dade College. She will pursue a career as a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon.

Fiorenza Herrera Diaz’s dream is to transfer to Georgetown University to pursue a career in international economic development. She is a Newman Civic Fellow who studied economics at Wolfson. Ultimately, she wants to work for the United Nations or World Bank.

Wolfson Campus biology major Neyton Fernandez wants to become a physician. At MDC, he participated in Phi Theta Kappa, Pre-Health club sponsored by the American Medical Student Association, Wolfpack Mentor and ACCESS tutor.

In addition to the monetary award, these new Jack Kent Cooke Transfer Scholars will receive comprehensive educational advising from Foundation staff to guide them through the process of transitioning to a four-year school and preparing for their careers. The Foundation will additionally provide opportunities for internships, study abroad, and graduate school funding, as well as connection to a thriving network of nearly 2,500 fellow Cooke Scholars and alumni. Each scholar also qualifies for $75,000 to attend graduate school. 

“Our recent ‘Persistence’ report highlights the vast potential, and achievements, of community college transfer students — who go on to outperform their non-transfer peers at selective four-year institutions” said Seppy Basili, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. “In an era where many high-achieving students often begin their higher education journey in community college, the Foundation is committed to enabling these transfer students to pursue their academic dreams at the nation’s top colleges and universities.”

Nearly 1,500 students applied for the 2019 Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship and only 61 winners were selected nation-wide.

About the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
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 $175 million in scholarships to more than 2,300 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive counseling and other support services. The Foundation has also provided over $97 million in grants to organizations that serve such students.

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