Six UCNJ Students Selected as Semifinalists for Prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship

Cranford, NJ – UCNJ Union College of Union County, NJ is proud to announce that six students have been selected as semifinalists for the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation (JKCF) Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The JKCF award can provide up to $55,000 per year for two to three years to complete a bachelor’s degree at any accredited four-year undergraduate institution in the United States.

The six semifinalists were selected from more than 1,600 applicants across the country and have at least a 3.5 GPA. Selected Cooke Transfer Scholars will also receive educational advising and have access to internship opportunities, study abroad experiences, graduate school funding, and connections to the network of more than 3,100 fellow Cooke Scholars and Alumni.

The UCNJ semifinalists are: Mario Alvarado, of Roselle, who is studying business; Sophia Argenziano, from Clark, who is studying English; Zulemy Gomez-Londono, from Elizabeth, who received an Associate Degree in visual arts from UCNJ; Precious Opaola, also a Kaplan Scholar, who is studying social services and is from Linden; Nicole Resende, of Union Township, who is majoring in engineering; and Myrvens Sylvestre, of Roselle, who is studying computer science.

“The UCNJ community is thrilled to have six semifinalists for this year’s Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. With the current financial climate, this is an incredible opportunity for our scholars to continue their education debt free. Our six semifinalists have worked hard, been involved on campus, and have big career aspirations. This scholarship presents a transformative opportunity for our students to secure funding and educational support, and we wish each of our six semifinalists the best of luck,” stated UCNJ President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin.

“In light of the challenges that hinder many community college students from achieving their goal of earning a bachelor’s degree, our Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship makes the journey more achievable and helps to eliminate the threat of student debt,” said Seppy Basili, Executive Director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. “The exceptional pool of talent among this year’s chosen semifinalists from community colleges showcases the vast potential within these institutions and we look forward to learning more about these students during the final stage of our application review.” The finalists for the Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship will be announced in May.

UCNJ is a public, comprehensive community college that provides quality, affordable, accessible educational programs to the greater Union County region. It is the first of New Jersey’s 18 two-year colleges, serving both career-minded and transfer-oriented students since 1933. The College offers a wide variety of academic and extracurricular activities. UCNJ provides many experiential learning opportunities such as access to a Bloomberg Business Center, Innovation Center, and Student Research Hub. Additionally, students at UCNJ attend one of the top 25 community colleges in the country for 2023 as designated by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. To learn more, visit


From left: Mario Alvarado, Myrvens Sylvestre, Nicole Resende, Sophia Argenziano, Precious Opaola.