Dallas College News Update


Media Contact: Debra Dennis; DDennis@DallasCollege.edu

For immediate release — April 12, 2023

(DALLAS) — Four Dallas College students are among the semifinalists for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. Three of the scholars attend Dallas College North Lake Campus, and a fourth attends El Centro Campus.

The foundation awards community college students who have demonstrated exceptional academic performance, leadership, service and a determination to complete their bachelor’s degrees at top four-year institutions.

The Dallas College semifinalists are:

Janset Aydogdu​​

Janset Aydogdu

Janset Aydogdu is a biology major at Dallas College North Lake Campus. The University of Texas at Austin and Southern Methodist University are among the schools she’s considering for the Fall 2023 semester.

Esmeralda Leiva​​

Esmeralda Leiva

Esmeralda Levia is a fashion design student at El Centro Campus. She will be graduating in May and plans to continue her passion at a four-year college. Leiva has applied to several universities and is weighing her options.

Madeleine Grace Cornejo​​

Madeleine Grace Cornejo

Madeleine Grace Cornejo is a psychology major at Dallas College North Lake Campus. She is graduating in May and plans to transfer to either the University of Texas at Austin or the University of Southern California.

Iliyan Ajani

Iliyan Ajani

Iliyan Ajani has completed his associate degree in science from Dallas College North Lake Campus and will graduate in May. He plans to transfer in the Fall and major in special education and/or environmental studies.

The Cooke Transfer Scholarship is designed to create a clear pathway to a four-year degree by offering up to $55,000 per year along with academic advising and access to a network of peers.

“By lifting the financial burden of pursuing a four-year degree off their shoulders, our goal is to help students take full advantage of a four-year college experience without taking on student debt,” said Seppy Basili, executive director of the Cooke Foundation. “This year’s selected semifinalists reflect the deep bench of talent across our community colleges today, and we’re looking forward to getting to know them better in our final application review process.”

Transfer scholars will receive educational advising from the foundation’s deans of scholar support to guide them through the process of transitioning to a four-year school and preparing for their future endeavors. They will also have access to opportunities for internships, study abroad and graduate school funding.

This year’s semifinalists were chosen from a pool of 1,700 applicants from 215 community colleges, Basili said. The recipients will be named later this month.

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