TJC student Griselle Esparza named Jack Kent Cooke Foundation scholarship winner

Tyler Junior College sophomore Griselle Esparza is one of only 61 community college students nationwide to win the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.

Each selected scholar will receive up to $40,000 annually for a maximum of three years to complete their bachelor’s degree, as well as college planning services, ongoing advising, and the opportunity to connect with a thriving community of fellow Cooke Scholars.

Esparza is a biology major of Tyler, originally from Monterrey, Mexico. At TJC, she serves as vice president of scholarships in the Alpha Omicron Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, serves as vice president of the Student Senate and is a member of the Hispanic Student Organization (HSO). She is one of 50 students nationwide to be named a Bronze Scholar on the 2019 Coca-Cola Academic Team. Last August, she was named a 2018 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar.

Following graduation from TJC in May, Esparza plans to transfer to Boston University, where she will major in biology.

Esparza said, “I am grateful and honored to have been selected as a 2019 Jack Kent Cooke Scholar. I will forever be thankful for this amazing opportunity to continue my education, make my life-long visions a reality, and become part of the inspiring Cooke Scholar community. It is really a dream come true.”

She added, “Tyler Junior College has been such a blessing in my life. I am so thankful for everyone at TJC, especially for my incredible advisors and professors who have given me endless support throughout my time as an Apache. Being part of life-changing organizations like Phi Theta Kappa, Student Senate, and HSO has transformed my experience at TJC, and I have been able to grow as a person, student and leader. I feel very lucky to be part of this amazing school.”

“Griselle is an outstanding scholar and student leader, but she is so much more,” said Gigi Delk, TJC professor and Phi Theta Kappa faculty advisor. “She radiates positivity in every situation, and the Jack Kent Cooke Transfer scholarship is going to give her the opportunity to not only change her life but change the world for the better.”

Through this scholarship, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation supports high-achieving community college students as they transfer to some of the top four-year institutions in the country to complete their bachelor’s degrees.

“Griselle is a role-model student who leads by example,” said Dr. Juan E. Mejia, TJC president for branch locations and district provost. “Upon joining TJC, she immediately began to assume leadership roles in numerous student organizations, while ensuring her commitment to scholarship and academic excellence remained a priority.”

He added, “We are very honored to have her as a student.”

“Countless highly talented and motivated students begin their college experience at a community college, and our recent ‘Persistence’ report shows that they excel after they transfer,” said Seppy Basili, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

“In an era where many high-achieving students often begin their higher education journey in community college, the Foundation is committed to enabling these transfer students to pursue their academic dreams at the nation’s top colleges and universities.”

Nearly 1,500 students applied for the 2019 Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The Foundation evaluated each submission based on academic ability, persistence, leadership, and service to others. The recipients selected represent 18 different states have a median household adjusted gross income of $28,000 and an average GPA of 3.93. This year’s cohort of Cooke Transfer Scholars has applied to the nation’s most selective institutions.
 
Cooke Transfer Scholars are selected based on exceptional academic ability and achievement, financial need, persistence, service to others, and leadership. They must be currently enrolled community college students residing in the United States.

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 $190 million in scholarships to nearly 2,500 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive counseling and other support services.

The Foundation has also provided over $100 million in grants to organizations that serve such students.

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