The Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is described as “a highly selective scholarship for the nation’s top community college students seeking to complete their bachelor’s degrees at four-year colleges or universities.”

College of the Siskiyous student Dori Mondon is a semi-finalist for the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship awarded by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. Mondon will graduate from COS with a transfer degree in sociology and will then enroll in University of North Carolina at Greensboro's Peace & Conflict Studies online program. She plans to use the degree she’ll earn through UNC to teach communications at the community college level.

“Peace & Conflict Studies is kind of an amalgam of sociology, psychology, communication studies and philosophy,” Mondon detailed. “It's one of the few programs of its kind in the country that are offered online as well as on-campus,” she said of UNC’s Peace & Conflict Studies program.

“I am a non-traditional student. I am a mother, I have pets, I own a small business, and I go to school,” Mondon shared. “For me to win this scholarship would mean beating some incredible odds since I am not your typical student.” She said the scholarship would also alleviate a lot of the stress she’s been experiencing.

Mondon expressed her excitement about the opportunity through UNC online. “It means getting to stay here in Mount Shasta while I finish my undergraduate degree and perhaps by then, I'll feel more comfortable about relocating for graduate studies,” she said.

The Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is described as “a highly selective scholarship for the nation’s top community college students seeking to complete their bachelor’s degrees at four-year colleges or universities.”

The group of semi-finalists for the scholarship was announced Jan. 23. Mondon is one of 456 students who were chosen as semi-finalists from a group of nearly 1,500. The 456 selected students are currently collectively attending 311 community colleges in 45 states and the District of Columbia.

Each Cooke scholar has access to generous financial support for two to three years, college planning support, ongoing advising, and the opportunity to connect with the thriving community of fellow scholars, according to the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s website.

“Being a teacher is not a financially lucrative path, but it's an honorable one and I will be paying out-of-state tuition to study in my chosen field since nothing like [UNC’s Peace & Conflict Studies program] is currently offered in the state of California,” she described.

And as the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship supports students studying in any field of interest, Mondon emphasized, “it means I don't have to give up my dreams because of fear of being saddled with insurmountable debt for the rest of my life in exchange for it. Plus, there's a pretty incredible network of alumni that continue to support each other.”

The Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship recipients will be announced in April.

About the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Since 2000, the Foundation has awarded over $200 million in scholarships to over 2,700 students from 8th  grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive educational advising and other support services. The Foundation has also provided $110 million in grants to organizations that serve such students. Learn more at www.jkcf.org