Business Student Awarded a National Community College Transfer Scholarship
Haverhill, MA (May 10, 2023) – Northern Essex Community College Business Transfer student Pascale Percy is one of 60 high-achieving community college students selected to receive the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The highly competitive national scholarship aims for Cooke Scholars to complete their undergraduate educations with as little debt as possible. The award, which is last-dollar funding after all institutional aid, can provide Percy with as much as $55,000 a year to complete a bachelor’s degree.
Originally from Haiti and now living in Chelmsford, Percy moved to the United States in 2019 with her husband and three children. She learned about Northern Essex from a coworker and enrolled in 2021. Percy said it has been hard to juggle studying, working, and caring for family, but she has already seen the rewards. “I sincerely believe that my kids seeing me working so hard to achieve my goal made them want to follow me,” she said. “I hope I serve as a model, not only for them but also for all those who, like me, have dropped out of school to face their family obligations. I hope they give themselves the chance to resume what they had started.”
Percy is the first NECC student since 2011 to receive the scholarship. She worked closely with the Pathways for Academic and Career Excellence (PACE) program Director Kristen Arnold and PACE Transfer Advisor Jessica Rocker to submit the application.
“As a mom, it was immediately clear to me that this educational journey she was on was not a solo mission,” remarked Arnold. “She works so hard, not only for herself but for the desire to secure a better future for her entire family. We’re so proud of her and all that she has achieved in her time at Northern Essex.”
The PACE program serves first-generation college students and students with financial need. PACE is a Student Support Services program funded by a TRiO grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
Percy is currently exploring her options and will likely transfer to UMass Lowell or Merrimack College. “It’s amazing the turn my life took because I gave myself a chance to try, and I took the opportunity that presented itself to me. Thanks to the support of the PACE team, who encouraged me not to limit my dreams and my efforts.”
Along with financial support, new Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholars will receive comprehensive educational advising to guide them through the process of transitioning to a four-year college and preparing for their careers. Scholars 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, more than 1,700 students from 448 community colleges 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.
A list of the 2023 Cooke Transfer Scholars, including their community colleges, can be found here.