When the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation announced the winners of its highly competitive program Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship on May 12, a student from Santa Barbara City College was on the list: Cameron Black.
Mr. Black, who majored in both psychology and communications, was also a CCSC Student Government Officer committed to fostering equity and inclusion within the CCSC community.
“Today, nearly half of all students begin their college career at a community college,” said Seppy Basili, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. “We know that our community colleges are full of high-achieving students and we are committed to playing our part in ensuring the success of these students. Congratulations to a cohort of students who have persisted amidst these unprecedented disruptions in our lives.
Originally from small town Idaho, Mr. Black’s challenges included an abusive childhood environment, which prompted him to travel to Santa Barbara in 2020 to live with his uncle and his uncle’s partner. , whom he calls “Soul Mama”.
Inspired by the two of them to earn his GED and enroll in SBCC through the SBCC Promise, he achieved a 4.0 GPA his first semester, which he maintained throughout all four semesters at SBCC, according to an SBCC press release. .
As vice president of student government internal affairs, Mr. Black was praised by Allegra Kabukapua Kalombo, the president, for being “a direct leader and someone who is always available to help. He knows what he wants in life and where he wants to be in the future. I admire his ability to overcome adversity and use it as fuel to achieve greater things.
Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholars will receive comprehensive academic counseling to guide them through the process of transitioning to a four-year college and preparing for their careers. In addition to financial support, Scholars will also benefit from internship, study abroad and graduate funding opportunities, as well as connection to a thriving network of over 3,000 Cooke Scholars and Alumni. .
In a recent interview, Mr. Black expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the support he has received from CCSC and for the honor of receiving the Cooke Undergraduate Scholarship.
“Less than a month before the application deadline, my mentor and friend Joyce Coleman, Vice President of CCSC’s School of Extended Learning, encouraged me to apply for the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship across national. I spent the next three weeks engrossed in the lengthy application process, and here I am today, completely speechless.
“I cannot express enough gratitude, appreciation and love for the incredible support I have received from the SBCC community and beyond. I would say receiving the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship is a dream come true, but it is not. To be honest, in my wildest dreams, I never imagined I could accomplish what I have today, and I am honored to receive this amazing scholarship.
“Coming from a difficult childhood of violence and life on the streets, it was not easy. I pushed more boundaries than I thought possible, all with lots of support and love from amazing people in my life. Without the financial support of the CCSC Foundation Promise Program Scholarship, I would never have been able to pursue a college education. I’m so grateful and I don’t take this opportunity for granted.
Mr. Black said he was also honored to learn “that I have been accepted to continue my studies at Stanford University. I am beyond excited to continue my journey to make an impact in the areas of child abuse prevention and child safety advocacy”
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