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Santiago Canyon College Mother of Two Named to Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship Finalists List


​​(Orange, CA) - Santiago Canyon College (SCC) student, Rebecca Smith, was recently named a finalist for the Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, awarded by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, is given to high-achieving transfer students as they transition from their studies at two-year colleges to complete their bachelor’s degrees at four-year institutions.

Rebecca Smith“I feel so fortunate to be considered as a semi-finalist for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation transfer scholarship, because I can’t believe I’ve made it this far and am finally getting ready to graduate,” said Smith. “I have come such a long way since taking MATH060 4 years ago, and am grateful for all the support I’ve received at SCC. The Honors Program, Pathways to Teaching staff and other faculty have all supported me so much and I’m forever thankful. If I were to be offered this scholarship, I would love to attend Chapman University since it is so well respected, close to my family home and has an amazing atmosphere.”

Smith, 37, is a mother of two who worked as an actor, singer and television host in Britain before moving to the United States. Upon enrolling at SCC, Smith chose to pursue a career focused on helping children by majoring in psychology with an emphasis on children and learning. Smith will graduate from SCC with an Associate Degree for Transfer in Psychology with Highest Honors, along with three additional associate degrees in liberal studies, and hopes to obtain a multiple subject teaching credential. Throughout her time at SCC she has also accrued over 500 hours of volunteer community service.

Cooke Transfer Scholars are selected based on exceptional academic ability and achievement, financial need, persistence, service to others and leadership. In the past, 69 percent of students receiving scholarships transfer to highly competitive colleges or universities and 93 percent participate in civic or community service activities. Previous winners have additionally maintained an overall grade point average of at least 3.84. Nearly 1,500 applicants from 369 schools in 45 states and the District of Columbia applied for the scholarship.

“Countless highly-talented and motivated students begin their college experience at community college and our recent ‘Persistence’ report shows that they excel after they transfer,” said Seppy Basili, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. “We’re pleased to recognize this incredible cohort of semifinalists for their academic drive and achievement.”

Smith will learn if she has been named a recipient of the scholarship in April. If selected, she will be provided generous financial support of up to $40,000 for up to three years, college planning services, ongoing advising and the opportunity to connect with a thriving community of fellow Cooke Scholars.

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 $190 million in scholarships to nearly 2,500 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive counseling and other support services. The Foundation has also provided over $100 million in grants to organizations that serve such students. For more information about the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, please visit

About Santiago Canyon College

Santiago Canyon College (SCC) serves more than 17,000 credit and noncredit students each semester. In 2017, SCC was ranked #13 among the 50 Best Community Colleges in the U.S. by College Choice, a leading authority in college and university rankings and resources. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions and careers, and provides courses for personal and professional development, as well as customized training for business and industry. The college is recognized for its adult education program which keeps the working adult - and senior - in mind by offering flexible schedules, and community locations. Serving the residents of Anaheim Hills, Orange, Tustin, and Villa Park, SCC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.

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Media Contact:

Nancy Gore
Phone: (714) 480-7500​
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