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LSC-Montgomery International Student Surprised With Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship

Adriana and Dr. Riley
Lone Star College-Montgomery student Ariana Rosario (r.) accepts the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship award from LSC-Montgomery president Dr. Rebecca Riley (l.) at the college's student leadership banquet last month.
As an international student from Venezuela, earning a living on
her own while attending college full-time in the United States, Lone Star College-Montgomery student Ariana Rosario couldn’t be more honored to accept the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship recently awarded to her.

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship honors excellence by supporting outstanding community college students with financial need to transfer and complete their bachelor’s degree at top four-year colleges and universities. The Foundation, which provides up to $40,000 each year to 85 selected students, makes it possible for students to cover educational expenses such as tuition, living expenses, books and fees, while working on their bachelor’s degree.

Rosario, a member of the 2015 graduating class of LSC-Montgomery, came to the United States at the age of 17 with the hopes of pursuing an education and securing her dream job in the field of engineering. With the intent to transfer to the University of Houston in the fall to continue on with her bachelor’s degree, and the aspiration to one day achieve her Ph.D., she is still very much in shock.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” Rosario said. “I was attending the student leadership banquet and they called my name and awarded me with the scholarship right then.”

At the age of 16, Rosario graduated in the top five percent of her high school class in Venezuela and was automatically admitted to a prestigious university in her own country. However, as the country’s economy worsened and the university closed, she found herself researching alternative educational options in Houston, Texas, because of her interest in petroleum and energy engineering.

With the high cost of tuition looming down on her, Rosario opted for the less costly avenue of a community college for her basic classes, and registered at LSC-Montgomery. Upon acceptance, she applied for her student Visa, convinced her hesitant family that this was the right decision for her, and moved to the United States, alone.

Shouldering a part-time job as means to support herself, while maintaining a full-time student status, Rosario prides herself in managing to hold all of her grades steady at the “A” level, while maintaining responsibilities as a member of the Honors College, Honors Student Organization and the International Student Organization.

As the nominating professor, LSC-Montgomery history professor Fionna Ross felt Rosario was worthy of such an award by reason of her high levels of academic engagement in her primary survey research, as well as her representation of the college at regional conferences and events.  

“Ariana is an inspirational young woman in every respect, and very deserving of this prestigious award,” Ross said. “She combines a powerful intellect with superb work habits, and she assumes significant leadership roles inside and outside the classroom. This award is life-changing for Ariana and I can think of no more worthy or grateful recipient.”

Rosario is very honored to represent the international student population, and especially those from Venezuela.

“It’s hard for students like myself to get scholarships here because most require a residency status,” Rosario said. “So this means a lot to me. And my birthday was Sunday, so this has been the best birthday ever!”

LSC-Montgomery is located at 3200 College Park Drive, one-half mile west of Interstate 45, between Conroe and The Woodlands. For more information about the college, call (936) 273-7000, or visit www.LoneStar.edu/montgomery.
Lone Star College System has been opening doors to a better community for more than 40 years. Founded in 1973, LSCS remains steadfast in its commitment to student success and credential completion.  Today, with 78,000 students in credit classes, and a total enrollment of more than 90,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and one of the fastest-growing community college systems in the nation.  Dr. Steve Head is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of six colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park, seven centers, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.