Three Community College of Philadelphia Students Announced as Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Semifinalists

Three Community College of Philadelphia students have been announced as semifinalists for the highly competitive Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The students were selected from a pool of more than 1,200 applicants attending 180 community colleges in 35 states. To date, seven College students have been awarded the prestigious scholarship.

This year’s semifinalists include:

  • Tahara Garrison-Brown, Health Care Studies major
  • Nakita Guiteau, Liberal Arts-Honors major
  • Christine Meusz, Social/Behavioral Science major

Through this award, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation supports high-achieving community college students by providing them with a scholarship of up to $55,000 per year to attend a four-year accredited undergraduate school. Each award is intended to cover a significant share of the student’s educational expenses – including tuition, living expenses, books, and required fees – for the final two to three years necessary to achieve a bachelor’s degree.

In addition to funding that covers educational expenses, this highly competitive scholarship also includes: personal advising about selecting a college and navigating financial aid; the ability to pursue any area of study; and multifaceted advising on how to transition to a four-year college and maximize the student experience


Above: Christine Meusz poses in the library 

Christine Meusz, a South Philadelphia native, is a Social/Behavioral Science major with a dream of becoming a therapist specializing in relationship and trauma in refugee and BIPOC communities. With a deep interest in sociology, psychology, and neurology, she one day wants to open her own practice and facilitate groups in outdoor spaces as a place of healing.

As a first-generation Vietnamese woman who grew up with her refugee parents in a low-income neighborhood, Christine has long searched for a meaningful career where she could reclaim her unique story as a survivor. Her mantra is that no one should have to feel like they must “do life alone.”

During her summers, Christine works as a National Outdoor Leadership instructor where she leads groups of teenagers out into the Wind River Range and teaches them leadership and wilderness survival skills, as well as how to find joy in community. 

She also wears many hats at Vietlead and Resilient Roots: a community farm that works with Southeast Asian and BIPOC communities in Philadelphia and Camden to provide hands-on, practical education to teach people to grow food organically; using natural ecosystems as a model, they are able to create landscapes that include native plants, regenerate the ecosystem’s health, and insures people and wildlife can thrive. 

In her free time, she volunteers with Crisis Textline as a counselor and has in the past assisted with Boy Scout Troop instruction, and Mazzoni Center’s LGBT HIV volunteer programs.

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is expected to announce finalists in mid-May. Cooke Transfer Scholars are selected based on their exceptional academic ability and achievement, financial need, persistence, service, and leadership. 

Additional information on the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship can be found online