A trio of students from San Diego Mesa and Miramar colleges are among a select number of national semifinalists for the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, which pays up to $40,000 a year to complete a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university.
Mesa College standout Hanan Dirirsa and Miramar College students Rachel Kim and Dao Minh Anh Van are among 456 semifinalists chosen from a pool of nearly 1,500 applicants attending 311 community colleges in 45 states and the District of Columbia.
Cooke Transfer Scholars are selected based on their exceptional academic ability and achievement, financial need, persistence, service to others, and leadership. Students must currently be enrolled in a community college or recently have graduated and be residing in the United States.
Hanan Dirirsa is a human biology major with a 4.0 grade point average who serves as a senator with Mesa College’s Associated Students and is the student representative on the Mesa College Foundation’s Board of Directors.
Dao Minh Anh Van is president of Miramar College Associated Students and also sits on the Miramar College Executive Committee and the Miramar College Foundation’s Board of Directors, along with the Executive Committee of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges.
Rachel Kim is president of the Miramar Girls Who Code student club and a co-lead of the campus Developer Student Clubs, which is geared to garner interest in technology.
The Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is worth up to $40,000 a year to complete a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university. The scholarship funds are intended to cover a significant share of a student’s educational expenses – including tuition, living expenses, books and required fees – for the final two to three years necessary to achieve a bachelor’s degree.
“Year after year, we are impressed by the incredible talent and resolve of community college students,” said Seppy Basili, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. “We are proud to recognize this outstanding group of semifinalists for their academic achievement.”