By Kathryn Kelman/ ne news editor
For one NE student, April 13 became an unforgettable day.
In a room surrounded by past advisors, instructors and the campus president, Manav Lamichhane learned he’d been awarded the national Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation provides winners with up to $40,000 per year for the final two or three years they need to complete their degrees. Each award is intended to cover the majority of a student’s educational expenses such as tuition, living expenses, books and required fees.
The scholarship is the largest private scholarship for two-year and community college transfer students in the country. Thousands apply every year, but only 55 of the nation’s top community college students are chosen.
He never expected he’d get it, but it means everything to him that he did.
“Now I don’t have to worry about anything,” he said. “I can do a lot of things without having to worry about money.”
Lamichhane and his brother, Maniv, moved from Nepal to the U.S. three years ago to continue their education. After moving to Texas and enrolling at TCC, he’s done a lot on and for the campus.
“He majorly helped out with the candidate forum,” government associate professor Joan Johnson said. “It wouldn’t have been possible without his efforts.”
Johnson met Lamichhane when he was one of her Texas Government honors students and said no one she can think of deserves the scholarship more.
“He’s a brainiac, and that should be lauded, but he also cares about and does so much for his community,” she said. “He is the most kind, respectful, wonderful person.”
In addition to helping put together the candidate forum, Lamichhane helped set up NE’s food pantry, sociology instructor Cheryl North said. She worked closely with him on the project.
“It wouldn’t be what it is without him,” she said. “He really kind of made that happen.”
NE president Allen Goben was the one to tell Lamichhane he’d won the scholarship. In his career, Goben has only encountered one other student who’s won the prestigious scholarship, he said.
“Manav has done all of the things that we encourage all of our students to do,” Goben said. “But he has really gone above and beyond and done all of those things. He’s become so engaged and just a real positive leadership influence on our campus among our students.”
Lamichhane saw a flier for the scholarship on NW last August. The deadline for the scholarship was Oct. 21, and it took him all three months to finish the scholarship application.
“It was one of the most interesting and grueling applications I’ve ever done because you have so many pieces to it and they look at every piece,” he said.
After Goben announced Lamichhane had won the scholarship, Lamichhane was on the receiving end of a lot of praise and love but never lost his humility.
“I am who I am because of the people around me,” he said.
It’s a success also for those that helped him along the way, he said.
“I feel that this is not just me,” Lamichhane said. “This is a lot of other folks that came into play: my parents, instructors, the staff at TCC and my friends.”
This is his last semester at TCC, but Lamichhane doesn’t know where he’s off to next just yet because he’s still waiting to hear back from the 13 schools he applied to transfer to next fall.
He’d be grateful to continue his education at any of the schools he applied to, but Georgetown, Johns Hopkins and Brown are at the top of his list, he said.
For next fall, one thing is certain for Lamichhane and the people he’s impacted during his time at TCC: “He is going to be sorely missed,” Johnson said.