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CCBC’s Gamauri Spencer awarded a national community college transfer scholarship

Gamauri Spencer receives a highly competitive national scholarship that was awarded to only 60 out of 1,700 applicants.

Gamauri Spencer, an Honors student at Community College of Baltimore County, is one of 60 high-achieving community college students selected to receive the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The highly competitive national scholarship aims for Cooke Scholars to complete their undergraduate educations with as little debt as possible. The award, which is last dollar funding after all institutional aid, can provide Spencer with as much as $55,000 a year to complete a bachelor’s degree. They are the only student in Maryland to receive this prestigious scholarship.

Spencer, a member of the CCBC Honors College and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, is a General Studies major at CCBC with a 3.9 GPA. Spencer plans to transfer to Goucher College and major in Psychology. They would like to ultimately attain a doctorate in the field.

“The significance of getting this award is astronomical to me,” said Spencer. “It was only just a year ago that I began my college journey, and it was during a time when I had so many doubts about my future and how I would reach the heights that I had dreamed of. Being granted such an amazing opportunity has shown me that those moments when I thought I wasn't worth it, or the moments when I wanted to give up, had a purpose. This opportunity shows me that with every struggle, soon comes joy."

According to Community College Research Center research, transfer pathways from community colleges are a significant contributor to enrollment and diversity at four-year institutions. However, a lack of scholarship opportunities for transfer students, as well as other obstacles like losing credits during the transfer process, continue to keep bachelor’s degree completion rates low.

“Community college students remain far too underrepresented at our nation’s top institutions, despite clear research demonstrating their success once they arrive. Our scholarship is one way we aim to ensure that high-achieving students have the opportunity to complete their degree where they want, regardless of their financial background,” said Seppy Basili, executive director of the Cooke Foundation.

In addition to the financial support, Cooke Transfer Scholars receive comprehensive educational advising - guidance that is crucial for navigating their transition to four-year colleges and planning their career paths. Cooke Scholars also benefit from access to internship opportunities, study abroad and graduate school funding, as well as a dynamic network of over 3,300 Cooke Scholars and Alumni.

This year’s competition saw nearly 1,700 applications from over 380 community colleges. Applicants were evaluated on their academic prowess, financial need, persistence, community service, and leadership qualities. A complete list of the 2024 Cooke Transfer Scholars and their respective community colleges is available on their website

About the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

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 almost $282 million in scholarships to more than 3,300 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive educational advising and other support services. The Foundation has also provided $133 million in grants to organizations that serve such students. Media Contact: Julia Florence,

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About Community College of Baltimore County

Since 1957, CCBC has opened the doors to accessible, affordable, high-quality education empowering generations of area residents to transform their lives and the lives of others. Each year, nearly 50,000 students enroll at the college’s main campuses, extension centers and online to make their starts, earn degrees, launch and build careers. CCBC offers the region’s most expansive selection of degree, certificate and workplace certification programs that prepare students for transfer, job entry and career advancement in such industries as business, education, health care, information technology, cybersecurity, construction, and transportation. Designated as the “Best Community College” among the Maryland Daily Record’s 2023 Reader Rankings, CCBC is also nationally recognized as a leader in innovative learning strategies and among the nation’s top associate degree producers.