Two Seminole State honors students named 2017 Jack Kent Cooke Scholars

Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Written by: Seminole State Staff

Seminole State students shine again! For the third consecutive year, multiple honors students at Seminole State College of Florida were named winners of one of the nation’s most prestigious and lucrative scholarships.

Gustavo Diaz Galeas and Cathryn “Cate” Kandle were awarded the Jack Kent Cooke (JKC) Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship – worth up to $40,000 a year to complete a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university and up to $50,000 a year to pursue graduate studies. Diaz Galeas and Kandle were among 55 scholars selected this year to receive the award nationwide.

Kandle began attending Seminole State after being homeschooled.  She is majoring in biology and hopes to transfer to Cornell University in the fall. She will continue her education as a biology major with a focus on sustainability. Kandle works as a student tutor in Seminole State’s Academic Success Center.

“It feels unbelievable,” says Kandle. “The Jack Kent Cooke scholarship has opened up my options so that I can go where I want.”

Diaz Galeas is studying computer engineering. He hopes to attend MIT in the fall. Diaz Galeas is the programming director in the STEM Student Club and also serves as an embedded tutor for the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) grant program and for the Academic Success Center.

“Because I am an international student, trying to find financial resources is really hard,” says Diaz Galeas. “The very fact that I got this scholarship means that I don’t have to worry about taking out loans, and I don’t have to worry about working. I can focus fully on my studies.”

Both Kandle and Diaz Galeas will miss the sense of community and the support from faculty and the Grindle Honors Institute that are found at Seminole State.

“I have felt like around every turn at Seminole State, someone has had my back,” says Kandle. “I never felt like I am in this alone. There are people who are always willing to help me and extend their hands to me.”

All of the JKC winners show financial need and strong records of academic achievement as indicated by grades, leadership skill, awards, extraordinary service to others and perseverance in the face of adversity.

Since 2006, Seminole State has produced a total of 17 JKC scholars, including a national record-tying four scholarship recipients in 2015. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation says its Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is to community college graduates what the Rhodes Scholarship is to overseas study.

JKC Scholarships fund the costs of attending college not covered by other financial aid, plus academic advising, stipends for internships, study abroad and opportunities to network with other JKC scholars and alumni.

About the Grindle Honors Institute

The Grindle Honors Institute offers programs for academically talented students who want to enrich their experience and engage in honors activities at Seminole State College of Florida. For more information, please visit the Grindle Honors Institute website.