McKenzie Named National Jack Kent Cooke Scholar

Tyler McKenzie, a student at Redlands Community College, is one of 50 recipients of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s prestigious Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The highly competitive national scholarship will provide McKenzie with up to $40,000 a year to complete his bachelor’s degree.

 “We are incredibly proud of Tyler and all of his accomplishments. He has worked so hard and taken advantage of every opportunity from concurrent courses in high school to leadership opportunities in college,” said Jack Bryant, president of Redlands Community College. “It is our honor to have been a part of his path to many of his achievements, but we know that it is because of his own determination and drive that he has found success.”

McKenzie, a graduate of Mustang High School, has received numerous recognitions during his time at Redlands, including the All-Oklahoma Academic Team Award, the President’s Award and the George and Donna Nigh Leadership Scholarship Academy. He is an active member of Redlands’ Alpha Beta Upsilon chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges. He previously served as a regional Phi Theta Kappa officer and just completed a term as the International Vice President for Division 3, representing a nine-state region. He was the first international officer selected from Redlands and the second from Oklahoma.

In addition to financial support, new Cooke Transfer Scholars will receive comprehensive educational advising from the Foundation to guide them through the process of transitioning to a four-year college and preparing for their careers. Scholars will additionally receive opportunities for internships, study abroad, and graduate school funding, as well as connection to a thriving network of over 2,700 fellow Cooke Scholars and alumni. 

“We know this is a very uncertain time for many students and their families. We remain deeply committed to supporting high-achieving community college students to ensure they have the resources to reach their full academic potential,” said Seppy Basili, Executive Director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. “We are excited to welcome this new class of Cooke Transfer Scholars to our community and looking forward to seeing the many amazing things they do as they continue on their transfer journey.”

Nearly 1,500 students from 311 community colleges applied for the 2020 Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The Foundation evaluated each submission based on students’ academic ability and achievement, financial need, persistence, leadership, and service to others. The recipients selected represent 17 different states and plan to enroll at the nation’s most selective colleges.

"Being named a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar has multiple meanings to me. It is huge accomplishment in itself that I am both incredibly proud of and grateful for,” said McKenzie. “It is an opportunity and a blessing that will allow me to pursue the heights of my academic success without financial burden. But most importantly, it is a definitive clarity that community college students are valued and equally seen as potential leaders of change in our future. To the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, thank you for believing in community college students and in me."

A list of the 2020 Cooke Transfer Scholars, including the community colleges and states they represent, can be found here.

Learn more about the Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship here or sign up to receive an email alert when the application opens again this fall!

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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 over $200 million in scholarships to over 2,700 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive educational advising and other support services. The Foundation has also provided $110 million in grants to organizations that serve such students.