BOAZ, Ala. – Edwin Jarquin-Perez, a recent graduate of Snead State Community College, was notified Tuesday morning that he is one of 60 recipients from across the country to be awarded the prestigious Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.
The Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is a highly competitive national scholarship presented annually by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. The Scholarship aims for Scholars to complete their undergraduate educations with as little debt as possible. The award, which is last dollar funding after all institutional aid, can be as much as $55,000 a year.
“First and foremost, I would like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” Jarquin-Perez said. “Without Him I couldn’t be here. And through Him all things are possible. I feel truly blessed to have this great opportunity that allows me to further my education without any financial burden. Winning this scholarship means everything, not just for myself but for all my family and friends who help me get here. From my mother and father who instilled in us the importance and impact education has on everyone’s life. To my aunts and uncles who showed us to be confident and offered guidance when we felt lost. All this is possible through them.”
He specifically said he was thankful for his mother, Juana Jarquin-Perez; father, Gildardo Sanchez; uncles, Carlos Vasquez and Antonio Vasquez; and mentor, Snead State Director of Student Support Services and Engagement Brittany Goble.
Jarquin-Perez, of Guntersville, is a first-generation college student. He graduated Thursday, May 4, from Snead State Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, summa cum laude (3.9 GPA).
Next fall, Jarquin-Perez plans to attend University of Alabama-Huntsville to continue his undergraduate studies. When he earns his Bachelor’s Degree, Jarquin-Perez said he will use his newfound skills and knowledge to pursue a career to help people – like the person who helped he and his family several years ago.
“When I was younger, I was raised in Mexico by my grandparents,” he said. “We lived in an area where there was no electricity. But I remember a man with an engineering degree who came to our village and helped build a power grid that allowed us to have electricity.
“With a mechanical engineering degree, I want to be able to help people in need – those who are less fortunate,” Jarquin-Perez added. “Whether it be helping build a power grid for a community or establishing a water system for a village in need, I want to give back just like that man helped me and my family back then.”
Jarquin-Perez said he was grateful for his time at Snead State and the support he’s received from faculty, staff and fellow students over the last two years.
“I’m thankful for Snead State, which has helped me build a solid foundation and guide me on the journey to getting into a four-year college,” he said.
Along with financial support, new Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholars like Jarquin-Perez will receive comprehensive educational advising to guide them through the process of transitioning to a four-year college and preparing for their careers. Scholars will additionally receive opportunities for internships, study abroad, and graduate school funding, as well as connection to a thriving network of more than 3,000 Cooke Scholars and Alumni.
This year, more than 1,700 students from 448 community colleges applied to receive the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The Foundation evaluated each submission based on students’ academic ability and achievement, financial need, persistence, and leadership.
For more than 23 years, the Cooke Foundation has dedicated its mission to advancing education for exceptionally promising students who seek financial assistance. Since 2000, the Foundation has awarded almost $250 million in scholarships to nearly 3,200 students from eighth grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive educational advising and other support services. The Foundation has also provided $125 million in grants to organizations that serve such students. Learn more at www.jkcf.org.