Students earn scholarships, share experiences
The 55th Annual Scholarship Awards ceremony was held at the Knox Center to honor the scholarship recipients on Friday.
As music played in the background, students came in one-by-one towards the brightly lit stage. Once the seats were filled, CCC Foundation Board President Martin McNair welcomed the audience.
In his introduction, McNair said that 127 scholarships totaling $190,000 were awarded to 81 students this year.
The scholarship awards ranged from $200 to $15,000, with the average being $500 or $750.
The real reward, however, was when students had their moment to shine on stage.
Each student stood next to Vicki Ferguson, interim dean of student services, or Academic Senate President Wayne Organ as they announced their names, scholarship awards, and educational and career goals. McNair and President Denise Noldon shook the hands of the recipients as they left the stage.
Student De'Alaundria Gardner was the recipient of the John P. Christenson scholarship. A self-published author of "Inside her Mind", an 82-page poetry book, hopes to transfer to CSU-East Bay to become a poet, author and public speaker.
Engineering major Samneet Singh won one of the CCC Foundation General scholarships. Singh hopes to transfer to San Jose State University to become a pilot.
Bruno Ribeiro, also an engineering major, won the Sy & Beverly Zell scholarship. His goal is to transfer to UC Berkeley.
Singh and Ribeiro both credit programs such as CSE, STEM, and METAS as main influences in their decision in applying for scholarships.
"Dr. Sidharta inspired and motivated us to apply for scholarships," Singh said.
Nursing major David Katz and recipient of the Donald Seeman Memorial "Pre-Nursing" scholarship and Fred Tarp scholarship addressed the audience as the student tribute. Katz plans to attend Samuel Merritt University in the fall.
In the past, Katz has had a career as a field biologist and chef until he decided it was time to go back to school.
The first class he took at CCC was biology with professor Krolikowski.
"I really learned how to learn for the first time," Katz said.
Since then, Katz has been a teacher's assistant for all the anatomy and physiology professors, working with approximately 250 students in the last couple years.
Katz said, "I know how hard it is and how hard it is to work in those classes, so I really made an effort to give back."
When the presentation of scholarship awards finished, McNair presented the Benefactor of the Year award to the Zell family, known for their Sy & Beverly Zell scholarships.
Sy Zell began The Swinging for Scholarships Golf Tournament in 1999 and raised more than $300,000 in student scholarships. In the past 15 years, the tournament has raised approximately $1.5 million, McNair said.
Lina Xiao, a nursing major, felt grateful when she won the Anatomy and Physiology Program scholarship and EOPS Nickel and Nail scholarship.
In 2011, Xiao also received the English as a Second Language Department scholarship and CCC General Foundation scholarship.
Xiao hopes to be a role model for her kids and credits the scholarships for encouraging her to study harder.
"Later on, if I work and have extra money I would like to be a donor," Xiao said.
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