Maya Lee Awarded a National Community College Transfer Scholarship

Monday, May 13, 2024
Maya Lee - PC Student, Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship recipient

Phoenix, AZ (May 13, 2024) – Phoenix College student, Maya Lee, is one of 60 high-achieving community college students selected to receive the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The highly competitive national scholarship aims for Cooke Scholars to complete their undergraduate educations with as little debt as possible. The award, which is last dollar funding after all institutional aid, can provide Maya Lee with as much as $55,000 a year to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Computing, Maya Lee plans to attend Arizona State University's Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering on ASU's West Campus. A dedicated scholar, she is also President of the Kodiak Robotics Team, which she revived after the pandemic. Maya led the team to a Judge's award at the 2023 VEX U Robotic competition. Maya plans to pursue a doctorate in biomechanical engineering, focusing on robotics, and establish a human-centered non-profit engineering firm dedicated to developing open-source software and technology to increase accessibility in the healthcare and technology industry. In addition to her role on the robotics team, she is the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Regional Chief Project Officer, S-STEM/TRAIN Research, and a Las Hermanas Workshop Speaker. Her honors include the President's Honor Scholar, PTK Honor Society, USRA Leadership Award, and United States Presidential Service Award. 

According to Community College Research Center research, transfer pathways from community colleges are a significant contributor to enrollment and diversity at four-year institutions. However, a lack of scholarship opportunities for transfer students, as well as other obstacles like losing credits during the transfer process, continue to keep bachelor’s degree completion rates low.

“Community college students remain far too underrepresented at our nation’s top institutions, despite clear research demonstrating their success once they arrive. Our scholarship is one way we aim to ensure that high-achieving students have the opportunity to complete their degree where they want, regardless of their financial background,” said Seppy Basili, executive director of the Cooke Foundation.

In addition to the financial support, Cooke Transfer Scholars receive comprehensive educational advising - guidance that is crucial for navigating their transition to four-year colleges and planning their career paths. Cooke Scholars also benefit from access to internship opportunities, study abroad and graduate school funding, as well as a dynamic network of over 3,300 Cooke Scholars and Alumni. 

This year’s competition saw nearly 1,700 applications from over 380 community colleges. Applicants were evaluated on their academic prowess, financial need, persistence, community service, and leadership qualities. A complete list of the 2024 Cooke Transfer Scholars and their respective community colleges is available here.

 

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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 almost $282 million in scholarships to more than 3,300 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive educational advising and other support services. The Foundation has also provided $133 million in grants to organizations that serve such students. www.jkcf.org

Phoenix College is the flagship of the Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the nation. Established in 1920, PC offers academic courses leading to associate degrees, university transfer, certificates and short-term job training.

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District.  The Maricopa County Community College District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, http://www.maricopa.edu/non-discrimination.

Achieving the Dream (ATD) is a partner and champion of more than 300 community colleges across the country. Drawing on expert coaches, groundbreaking programs, and national peer network, the organization provides institutions with integrated, tailored support for every aspect of their work — from foundational capacities such as leadership, data, and equity to intentional strategies for supporting students holistically, building K–12 partnerships, and more. ATD calls this Whole College Transformation. Its vision is for every college to be a catalyst for equitable, antiracist, and economically vibrant communities. ATD knows that with the right partner and the right approach, colleges can drive access, completion rates, and employment outcomes — so that all students can access life-changing learning that propels them into community-changing careers. Follow ATD on X (Twitter)Facebook, and LinkedIn. To learn more, visit the Achieving the Dream (ATD) website: www.achievingthedream.org

Media Contact: Christy Flora, Manager of Public Relations and Marketing, christina.flora@phoenixcollege.edu / 602-920-8458 / phoenixcollege.edu