Pathways to Possibility
A Community College of Philadelphia Student Wins Prestigious National Scholarship for Second Year in a Row

PHILADELPHIA, May 15, 2012 — For the second year in a row, a Community College of Philadelphia student has been selected as one of 60 outstanding community college students to receive the coveted Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.

Larry Liu, of Northeast Philadelphia, will receive the prestigious award that provides undergraduates up to $30,000 a year, for up to three years, to complete their bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university.

The 20-year-old Liu is but one of dozens of academic standouts in the Community College of Philadelphia Class of 2012. Nine of his classmates already have been accepted at Bryn Mawr College, and at least three others are headed to the University of Pennsylvania. Other students in the College’s Honors program will move on to such highly competitive schools as The New School for Social Research, New York, N.Y.; Oberlin College in Ohio; and Bucknell University.

"The Class of 2012 demonstrates the depth of the academic talent within the city of Philadelphia," said College President Stephen M. Curtis, Ph.D. “Our faculty truly cares about student success, and the staff has created innovative programs to keep students moving toward their long-term academic goals.”

There were 2,258 candidates for associate’s degrees and academic certificates at the College’s  Commencement on May 5, making it the largest graduating class ever.

Liu has applied to University of Pennsylvania, where he hopes to study Economics and Sociology. Liu was born and raised in Austria. When his parents decided to come to America, it presented many academic and life challenges. “When my parents told me about their decision to relocate, I was quite confused and bewildered about this dramatic turn in life,” he said. Despite his doubts, Liu, who was then 17, followed his parents to Philadelphia, while his older brother stayed behind.

Liu finished high school in Philadelphia. When it came time to decide on college, he chose Community College of Philadelphia. The choice was initially based on affordability and Liu’s desire to stay close to his parents. Liu was invited to join the College’s Honors program, which takes on about 75 students each semester. “It has provided me with a challenging and rewarding atmosphere, as well as skills that sharpened my intellectual abilities and propelled my future academic career,” said Liu, who will graduate with a 4.0 grade point average. “It also helped me to get settled in my new country and gave me an opportunity to fulfill the dream my mother had.”

The Kent Cooke Foundation scholarship is the largest private scholarship for two-year and community college transfer students in the country. Since the Undergraduate Transfer program was instituted in 2002, more than 400 students have benefited. The College’s 2011 recipient, Larry Thi, is completing his junior year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.