Tyler Junior College sophomore DeShona Jernigan has been named a semifinalist for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.
Through this community college transfer scholarship, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation supports high-achieving students as they transfer to some of the best four-year institutions in the country to complete their bachelor’s degrees.
This year’s 406 semifinalists were chosen from a pool of more than 1,500 applicants attending 398 community colleges in 44 states and the District of Columbia.
Jernigan, a general studies major from Marshall, serves as president of the TJC’s Alpha Omicron Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and clarinet section leader in the Apache Band. She is also a member of the Student Services Fee Advisory Committee, Kappa Kappa Psi band fraternity and the leadership council in the TJC Presidential Honors program.
After graduating from TJC, she plans to transfer to The University of Texas at San Antonio to major in biomedical engineering. She eventually hopes to provide future patients with prosthetics and artificial body parts.
“I never fail to express to any faculty, advisors and mentor that I cannot imagine what my college experience would be without TJC,” Jernigan said. “My involvement on campus and the connections I have made within the past two years have helped me lay a foundation for the rest of my life.”
She continued, “I was overwhelmingly excited when I found out the news. I had a team of people who assisted through the application process and cannot thank them enough. I am extremely honored to be a Jack Kent Cooke semifinalist and will continue to strive to reach my goal and hopefully be an encouragement to others.”
The Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship recipients will be announced in April. Selected scholars will receive financial support for up to three years, comprehensive educational advising, and the chance to connect with fellow Cooke Scholars.
Cooke Transfer Scholars are selected based on their exceptional academic ability and achievement, financial need, persistence, service to others, and leadership. Students must be currently enrolled community college students or recent graduates residing in the United States.
“The research is clear: Our community colleges are full of talented students with a diversity of experiences that contribute to their educational journey. We see this in our applicant pool every year and are excited to recognize this group of semifinalists for their academic achievements,” said Seppy Basili, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. “We are especially impressed by the incredible perseverance and drive these students have exhibited during such an unprecedented year.”
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 $222 million in scholarships to more than 2,800 students from eighth grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive counseling and other support services. The foundation has also provided over $115 million in grants to organizations that serve such students.