Northern Essex Community College Business Transfer student Pascale Percy is one of 60 high-achieving community college students nationally to receive a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.
The national scholarship award, available after all institutional aid is awarded, can provide Percy with as much as $55,000 a year to complete a bachelor’s degree. The aims is to allow Cooke Scholars to complete undergraduate educations with as little debt as possible.
Originally from Haiti and now living in Chelmsford, Percy moved to the U.S. in 2019 with her husband and three children. She learned about Northern Essex from a coworker and enrolled in 2021. Percy said it has been hard to juggle studying, working and caring for family, but she has already seen the rewards.
“I sincerely believe that my kids seeing me working so hard to achieve my goal made them want to follow me,” she said. “I hope I serve as a model, not only for them but also for all those who, like me, have dropped out of school to face their family obligations. I hope they give themselves the chance to resume what they had started.”
Percy is the first Northern Essex student since 2011 to receive the scholarship. She worked closely with Pathways for Academic and Career Excellence program Director Kristen Arnold and PACE Transfer Advisor Jessica Rocker to submit the application.
“As a mom, it was immediately clear to me that this educational journey she was on was not a solo mission,” said Arnold. “She works so hard, not only for herself but for the desire to secure a better future for her entire family. We’re so proud of her and all that she has achieved in her time at Northern Essex.”
The PACE program serves first-generation college students and students with financial need. PACE is a Student Support Services program funded by a TRiO grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
Percy is currently exploring her options and will likely transfer to UMass Lowell or Merrimack College.