MiraCosta College Nursing Student Hayat Sherif Awarded National Community College Transfer Scholarship

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MiraCosta College student Hayat Sherif has been named as one of the 60 high-achieving community college students across the country who will receive the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. Sherif is the only recipient in San Diego County and one of just ten in California. The highly competitive national scholarship aims for Cooke Scholars to complete their undergraduate educations with as little debt as possible.

“The Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship will give me the best opportunity possible to earn my degree in nursing without the burden and stress of balancing school and work,” shared Sherif. “It is because of this life changing opportunity, as well as all the support and guidance that I've gained from my mom, loved ones, mentors, faculty and staff at MiraCosta College, that I am taking giant steps to reach my career and life goals.”

Hayat Sherif is an accomplished student inside the classroom and out, having served as a Student Ambassador, Senator for the Associated Student Government, Vice President of Fellowship for Phi Theta Kappa, Co-president of the Black Student Union, and member of Umoja. In addition, Sherif was awarded the Annual Medal of Academic Merit at MiraCosta College, the highest academic honor a student can receive.

Sherif’s journey to this point is one of perseverance. She first moved to the U.S. from Ethiopia when she was in middle school. At the time, she knew only the English alphabet and found the language barrier to be a significant obstacle. However, despite her fears, Sherif knew she needed to get involved in school and the community in order to succeed. As a result, she started volunteering at a local senior living facility in the region, and later signed up for a host of clubs after enrolling at MiraCosta College.

This fall, Sherif will transfer to California State University San Marcos where she will pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The transfer scholarship, which is last dollar funding after all institutional aid, can provide Sherif with as much as $55,000 a year to complete her bachelor’s degree.

“There are so many bright and persistent community college students in our nation who we know will thrive at four-year institutions if they can find a way to transfer without being weighed down by a heavy financial burden,” said Seppy Basili, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. “We are excited to welcome yet another cohort of Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholars to our community after learning about them through their applications and seeing their unbound potential.”

Along with financial support, Sherif will receive comprehensive educational advising to guide her through the process of transitioning to a four-year college and preparing for her career. Sherif 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, Sherif was among more than 1,700 students from 448 community colleges who 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.

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