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CLARKSTON, Ga.—Papa Ebo Quainoo, a student at Georgia State University Perimeter College, will receive one of the largest private scholarships in the country, the national Jack Kent Cooke Foundation (JKCF) has announced.
Quainoo has been awarded the prestigious JKC Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The highly competitive national scholarship, designed to help the nation’s top two-year college students seeking to complete their bachelor’s degree at four-year institutions, will provide Quainoo with up to $55,000 a year to complete his bachelor’s degree.
He is among just two students in Georgia, and 100 students nationwide selected for the scholarship this year, the largest cohort of students in the scholarship’s history. He was chosen from more than 1,200 students from 332 community colleges.
“This gives me the opportunity to further my education and the platform to chase my dreams,” said Quainoo, who was notified that he received the scholarship during a surprise meeting on the Clarkston Campus with Perimeter College’s interim dean Dr. Cynthia Lester and members of the college faculty.
Quainoo, a native of Ghana, hopes to study aerospace engineering and has applied to the Georgia Institute of Technology.
While at Perimeter, Quainoo, an Honors College student, immersed himself in multiple activities, including being a participant and a tutor with the Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, and a peer tutor for the Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) program. In April, Quainoo was recognized during Perimeter’s (STAR) student academic awards as both an outstanding research and top engineering student.
In recent years, the Honors College at Perimeter has provided key assistance to students wanting to apply for the award.
“Without a doubt, one of the greatest honors of my job is to get to work with these outstanding scholarship candidates,” said Dr. Lauri Goodling, associate dean of Perimeter’s Honors College. “Over the years, we’ve worked hard to develop programs that build our pipeline for future winners, and it is such rewarding work.”
In addition to financial support, Quainoo will receive comprehensive educational advising to guide him through the process of transitioning to a four-year college and preparing for his career. He also will receive opportunities for internships, study abroad, and graduate school funding and be connected to a network of Cooke Scholars and alumni.
This year, five Perimeter students were named semifinalists for the scholarship.
Since 2002, 24 Perimeter students have received the scholarship, many transferring to institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, Georgia Institute of Technology and Georgia State. Last year’s winners, Awa Cisse and Gideon Melvin, are both continuing their undergraduate studies at Yale University.
“We are elated to celebrate Papa as the 24th student to become part of the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship program,” said Dr. Cynthia Lester, Perimeter College interim dean. “We also are proud of Papa and all that he achieved throughout his time at Perimeter College and know that this is only the beginning of an extremely bright future for him.”
A list of this year’s Cooke Transfer Scholars, their community colleges and their hometowns can be found here.
Photo by Carolyn Richardson