PITTSBURG: Los Medanos College (LMC) recently held a student success ceremony honoring the college’s scholarship recipients and students aiming to transfer. This year, 236 students received more than $350,000, and students continue to find out about additional ones. Most of the scholars not only maintain high grade point averages, but also have financial need, and many have been involved in community service, enriching the lives of people in their communities.
Graduating sophomore, Janis Hatchl, has received the largest community college scholarship available, the Jack Kent Cooke scholarship of $30,000. Janis, a psychology major, is headed to UC Berkeley. With 1000 applicants nationwide, only 86 scholarships were given this year, and Janis feels very fortunate to have received such a significant award. In thanking the LMC faculty and staff, she stated, “I wish we could remove the stigma of attending a community college. I am so glad I came to LMC because I received so much support. I especially appreciate the Honors Program – they have classes that not only challenged me, but also sparked the most interesting discussions in and out of class.”
Miguel Mauricio is one of 13 LMC students who have received Kennedy-King Memorial Scholarships. The Pittsburg High School alum is a first-generation college graduate. His parents came from Mexico. Miguel graduated from LMC this year with an Associate of Science Degree in
Social Sciences, and a Liberal Arts Degree in Arts and Humanities. A political science major with hopes of continuing on in a pre-law program, Miguel will attend UC Berkeley this coming fall. Kennedy-King scholarships are provided to students who are transferring to 4-year colleges and universities.
Miguel explained, “To earn this award named after Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King is quite amazing. I feel honored to be a part of something that is larger than the struggles I have gone through. Certainly the scholarship will help – right now I’m working three different jobs to support my schooling.”
The college has been working hard to develop new ways to encourage and support students so that they successfully reach their goal of completing a certificate, associate degree, or transfer path. Recent efforts include the development of a Summer Bridge program (started in 2012), Transfer Academy (started in 2011), the addition of numerous Associate Degrees for Transfer, enhancement of the college’s new student orientation, and development and expansion of accelerated models in math and English curriculum.