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MSJC Students Joseph Awad and Caris Sandino Awarded 2024 Undergraduate Transfer Scholarships from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation


Caris and Joseph
Caris Sandino and Joseph Awad

Two Mt. San Jacinto College (MSJC) students, Joseph Awad and Caris Sandino, have been named recipients of the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. This coveted national scholarship was awarded to only 60 high-achieving community college students nationwide.

Awad and Sandino, chosen from a pool of nearly 1,700 applicants from community colleges across the country, can now pursue their dreams without the burden of excessive debt. The scholarship provides up to $55,000 annually for each recipient to complete their bachelor’s degree, paving their way for a brighter future.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d end up here! I’m indebted to everyone who has showered me with their kindness and love for the past two years,” said Awad, a 20-year-old Temecula resident who will transfer to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to major in Psychology. “So many have invested in my academic future and growth, and for that, I'll forever be grateful."

Joseph Awad
Joseph Awad

Dr. Roger Schultz, Superintendent/President of Mt. San Jacinto College, commended Awad for his outstanding achievements at MSJC.

"Meeting regularly with Joseph as the student trustee has been truly inspiring. His high energy and dedication to advocacy locally and in Sacramento are exemplary. Joseph's remarkable academic achievements speak volumes about his commitment to excellence. He embodies the tireless spirit of student leadership, and I am confident that his passion will continue to drive positive change at UCLA and beyond."

Sandino will transfer to the University of California, Berkeley, to major in Business Administration. “I'm thrilled and immensely thankful to be a recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Transfer Scholarship. I'm also super excited about the opportunities it will provide to further my education and achieve my goals,” said the 28-year-old Beaumont/Los Angeles resident.

Caris Sandino
Caris Sandino

Dr. Roger Schultz, Superintendent/President of Mt. San Jacinto College, praised Sandino for her academic achievements at MSJC and her role in launching Eagles DREAMers.

"Caris’s dedication and academic excellence exemplify the mission of our institution. Her pivotal role in launching Eagles DREAMers is a testament to her commitment to meaningful change on campus. Her ability to inspire others and drive initiatives forward is remarkable, and I look forward to her continued success."

In addition to financial assistance, Cooke Transfer Scholars benefit from comprehensive educational advising and access to a robust network of over 3,300 Cooke scholars and alumni. The scholarship program also offers opportunities for internships, study abroad experiences, and funding for graduate school.

Applicants for the scholarship were evaluated based on academic performance, financial need, persistence, community service, and leadership qualities. A complete list of the 2024 Cooke Transfer Scholars and their community colleges can be found here.