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Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Names 17 LSC Students Semifinalists for Prestigious Scholarship

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HOUSTON, TX – The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has named 17 Lone Star College (LSC) students – the most of any college in Texas – as semifinalists for its Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.

Students who receive this $40,000-a-year scholarship are able to complete their bachelor’s degrees at a selective four-year college or university. The finalists will be named in April.

“My congratulations to these Lone Star College students for being named semifinalists for this very special scholarship,” said Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., LSC chancellor. “Their accomplishments attest to our mission of providing high quality comprehensive educational opportunities and programs to enrich lives.”

The 17 LSC semifinalists are:

Lone Star College StudentCampus
Humberto Leal Acosta*LSC-CyFair
Abigail Napitupulu*LSC-CyFair
Valentina Tardugno Poleo*LSC-CyFair
Ayush DhakalLSC-Kingwood
Mareeha Jangda*LSC-Kingwood
Noelle Files*LSC-Tomball
Francis Mazariegos*LSC-Tomball
Taylor Myer*LSC-Tomball
Paris Ritthamel*LSC-Tomball
Daniel Starr**LSC-Tomball
Isabelle AbuHamad*LSC-University Park
Carl Benson*LSC-University Park
Natalino Carlo*LSC-University Park
Ali Al-Saud Hassiman*LSC-University Park
Mary Hurtado Valbuena*LSC-University Park
Doreen Santos-Pagan*LSC-University Park
Caroline Shiloh*LSC-University Park

*LSC Honors College Student, **LSC Honors College Alumnus

“Year after year, we are impressed by the incredible talent and resolve of community college students,” said Seppy Basili, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Executive Director in a statement. “We are proud to recognize this outstanding group of semifinalists for their academic achievement.”

Each scholarship recipient will receive up to $40,000 per year to cover a significant share of educational expenses including tuition, living expenses, books and required fees.




In addition to the monetary award, recipients will receive all-inclusive educational advising from foundation staff to guide them through the processes of transitioning to a four-year school and preparing for their careers. In addition, they are also eligible to apply for $50,000 annually for graduate school.

Nearly all of the LSC students recognized as semifinalists attend The Honors College at LSC which offers a wide range of opportunities for honors students – from incoming freshman wanting to graduate with an Honors Associate of Arts or Honors Associate of Science degree and high-achieving students seeking to graduate with Honors distinction, to students interested in earning individual Honors course credit.

“The Honors College at Lone Star College prepares motivated students who are seeking to improve their college transcripts and transferability with challenging coursework provided across a broad range of disciplines,” said Katharine Caruso, Ph.D., LSC Associate Vice Chancellor, Honors and International Education.

“The Jack Kent Cooke Transfer Scholars are selected based on their outstanding academic ability and success, financial need, persistence, service to others, and leadership,” Caruso said.




This year’s 456 Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship semifinalists were chosen from nearly 1,500 applicants attending 311 community colleges in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Students must be currently enrolled community college students or recent graduates residing in the United States.

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 $200 million in scholarships to more than 2,700 students from eighth grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive counseling and other support services. The foundation has also provided over $110 million in grants to organizations that serve such students. Visit to learn more.

Lone Star College offers high-quality, low-cost academic transfer and career training education to 99,000 students each semester. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to support student success. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., serves as Chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area with an annual economic impact of nearly $3 billion. LSC consists of seven colleges, eight centers, two university centers, Lone Star Corporate College and LSC-Online. To learn more, visit