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Mission College Student Wins Prestigious Scholarship

Mission College student Jyodi Mohole has won a prestigious and competitive undergraduate transfer scholarship that will pay for all her costs at a four-year university. 

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation selected Mohole as one of just 85 finalists from the more than 3,700 applicants who applied nationwide. A biological sciences major at Mission, Mohole will use the scholarship to attend a University of California campus; so far, she has been accepted to UC Davis, UC San Diego and her first choice, UCLA. She plans to major in physiological sciences, with her eventual goal being to attend medical school and become a pediatrician. 

“This was totally unexpected. Being a first-generation college student, I really didn’t know whether I would have to take loans or if I’d be able to get grants to pay for college,” said Mohole, who is working four jobs in addition to studying. “I want to graduate from a great university, a great medical school and, ultimately, become a top-class physician. This scholarship has opened up pathways toward that by allowing me to concentrate on school.” 

The scholarship is the largest private scholarship for community college transfer students in the country. The foundation provides as much as $30,000 per year for up to three years to the nation’s best low-income community college students seeking to complete a bachelor’s degree. Students are selected based on high academic ability and achievements, persistence, leadership and financial need. The average grade-point average of the incoming class is 3.98 and the students come from families with an average adjusted gross income of about $25,000. 

In addition to maintaining a 4.0 GPA at Mission College, Mohole has worked as a STEM peer mentor, a MESA tutor and been involved with the American Medical Student Association. She also works at off-campus tutoring jobs. Mission College, Mohole said, has prepared her well for a four-year university. 

“I feel like I couldn’t have been better prepared to transfer,” she said. “The kind of support and encouragement I’ve received here is amazing. I really want to thank Mission College for allowing me to become the person I’ve become.” 

Ashley Piekarski, chemistry instructor and chair of the chemistry department at MC, said Mohole has been one of her best students since she began teaching at Mission College. 

“It was quite clear from the first day I met her in my organic chemistry course, Jyodi was determined to not only be at the top of my class, she also had such a passion to know the broader impacts of what she was learning as they apply to real life applications,” Piekarski said. “Not only is Jyodi an extremely intelligent and mature student, she also has a lot of patience and compassion which I witness every day in the STEM center adjacent to my office. Jyodi works closely with her peers to help them in their biology and chemistry courses, and it is that compassion, and patience, which is going to make her a wonderful pediatrician. Jyodi is one of those students I will always remember. I will be sad when she leaves Mission College because she is such a wonderful student and has contributed so much to Mission College not only in her classes but also her extracurricular activities.” 

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private, independent foundation dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need.