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TCC Students Win Jack Kent Cooke Scholarships

Matt Trotter

Two Tulsa Community College students are among 85 recipients of a national scholarship worth up to $90,000.

Southeast Campus Provost Brett Campbell interrupted Jim Presley and Michelle Harris’ morning class, announcing, "No one has won the Publishers Clearing House," complete with balloons and a poster in lieu of a giant check, to tell them they’d won Jack Kent Cooke Foundation transfer scholarships. Both students were stunned.

"I did not do this by myself," said Harris. "It was everybody that knows me, knows the challenges that I've had."

"Kind of everything was riding on this, honestly, because I had — I had no way to pay for school," Presley said.

The scholarships give students heading to a four-year university up to $30,000 a year to finish their bachelor’s degree. Physics major Presley and peace studies major Harris have big plans.

"I've been accepted to TU and Colorado, but I'm waiting to hear from Cornell because that's kind of my dream school," Presley said. "So hopefully they'll say yes as well."

"There's a private college called Guilford. It has a peace studies and conflict resolution program, in North Carolina, Greensboro, N.C.," Harris said.

Applicants must have at least a 3.5 GPA and demonstrate a desire to help others.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.