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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Student receives $90,000 award

South+student+Lori+King-Nelson%2C+center%2C+won+the+Jack+Kent+Cooke+award%2C+a+scholarship+aimed+at+students+in+community+colleges+who+plan+to+transfer+to+a+four-year+university.++Photo+by+Brenda+Medici%2FThe+Collegian+
South student Lori King-Nelson, center, won the Jack Kent Cooke award, a scholarship aimed at students in community colleges who plan to transfer to a four-year university. Photo by Brenda Medici/The Collegian

By Victor Henderson/multimedia editor

South student Lori King-Nelson, center, won the Jack Kent Cooke award, a scholarship aimed at students in community colleges who plan to transfer to a four-year university.  Photo by Brenda Medici/The Collegian
South student Lori King-Nelson, center, won the Jack Kent Cooke award, a scholarship aimed at students in community colleges who plan to transfer to a four-year university. Photo by Brenda Medici/The Collegian

It’s hard enough to win a scholarship to cover the cost of books, but to win $30,000 a year for three years seems almost impossible.

South Campus student Lori King-Nelson won the Jack Kent Cooke award, which seeks the nation’s best low-income community college students who plan to continue their education at a four-year college or university.

“Since I came back to school, we’ve really struggled financially,” King-Nelson said. “And to know that things are going to be OK over the next few years while I finish my degree is pretty overwhelming.”

Eighty-five finalists were selected from 3,705 applicants representing 737 community colleges in 48 states, two U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. It was the largest applicant pool in the foundation’s 13-year history. King-Nelson was shocked to learn that she had won.

“I thought possibly they were contacting the wrong person,” she said, laughing, “because the odds were just so great against getting it.”

The application process consisted of two phases with the second phase requiring 14 essays. King-Nelson sacrificed her winter break to complete it. Fortunately for her, she could use and rework essays from previous scholarships she had applied for.

South art associate professor and contact adviser for Phi Theta Kappa honor society Paul Benero never thought he would see any students receive the award.

“I can’t remember the last time that South Campus or any campus in the district has received this scholarship,” he said. “This is a big deal.”

South student and fellow PTK member Danielle Johnson said she wasn’t surprised that King-Nelson won.

“I think she’s very deserving,” she said. “She’s worked all her life … and I’m happy for her, and I love her.”

King-Nelson plans to transfer to Texas Wesleyan University and double major in sociology and religion.

From there, she said she would like to attend Texas Christian University and complete her master’s degree. Ultimately, she would like to open a nonprofit to educate people about different cultures and religions to promote tolerance and respect among people.

Though the application process can be nerve-wracking, she feels everyone should take advantage of the scholarships available.

“I just encourage students to apply for everything they can,” she said. “It’s good experience and you can win something.” 


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