Ten students from Georgia State University’s Perimeter College have been named semifinalists for the 2023 Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The Jack Kent Cooke award is a competitive scholarship for the nation’s top two-year college students. It provides recipients with up to $55,000 per year, placing the scholarship among the largest private awards in the country for community college transfer students. The following is a profile of one of Perimeter’s ten semifinalists. They are among 459 semifinalists selected from more than 1,700 applicants attending 215 community colleges in 38 states.
DUNWOODY, Ga.—Tsinat “Ruth” Nure considers traveling to the United States for a college education one of the best decisions she has ever made—even though it meant leaving family during a pandemic and amid concerns about her health and how she’d actually pay for school.
Nure, 19, immigrated from Ethiopia to Georgia a year ago to attend Georgia State University’s Perimeter College, where she studies business administration. Shortly before coming to Georgia, Nure’s mother had found her convulsing in their front lawn, suffering from a spate of seizures.
“One minute I’m doing yoga and the next thing you know, I’m in the hospital,” Nure recalled of that fateful day.
Doctors diagnosed her with Post Traumatic Seizure Disorder and prescribed a medication, with strong side effects, that she must take for the rest of her life. Yet, this hasn’t stopped Nure from exceling as a deeply involved Honors College student at Perimeter or getting selected as a Jack Kent Cooke scholarship semifinalist.
“Every day, I am driven by the choices I make to make myself and the people around me better,” Nure said, adding that she’s proud of her long-distance efforts to assist Ethiopian students apply to attend college in America.
“The challenge of coming from a developing country and reaching for the stars motivates me. I owe it to God, my parents, my family—and me.”
This focus, as well as future career plans, gives Nure energy to pursue her dreams. Long-term, she wants to return to Ethiopia and work alongside her sisters (a medical doctor and two pharmacists) to improve the healthcare system there. Nure’s experience with doctors, hospitals and healthcare costs during her own health crisis influenced her desire to work in the medical care arena.
“Health tech is the solution,” she said of her goal to introduce more affordable and quality healthcare for Ethiopian residents and why she is studying business administration with an emphasis on computer information systems and finance.
Nure initially wanted to attend college in Ethiopia, but the country’s ongoing civil war changed those plans. Instead, in 2021, despite the burden of paying for college as an international student, she joined a sister already living in the Atlanta area and enrolled at Perimeter. At the college she has served in multiple leadership roles, snagged a number of awards and maintained a 4.0 GPA.
Recently, she received two Distinguished Leadership Awards for her exceptional accounting classwork. Nure also has received Business Administration Student of the Semester and President’s List awards—in addition to presenting a research project about critical thinking at the Georgia Political Science Conference.
Outside the classroom, she serves as executive director of the Dunwoody Campus Panther Activities Council, vice president of the Business Club and tutor for the Learning and Tutoring Center, where she helps fellow students understand subjects like economics and calculus.
Despite a busy schedule, Nure manages to attend church on Sundays and babysit her niece Myla every Friday night. After graduating from Perimeter College in May, Nure wants to attend Howard University. The prospect of becoming a Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer scholar gives her hope that she’ll be able to afford the next step of her academic journey.
"It is God's plan for me; and I trust that my efforts today will have a waterfall effect for my country."
Winners of the 2023 Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship will be announced in May.
Story by Kysa Anderson Daniels
Photo by Bill Roa