SMC — Santa Monica College psychology student Scott Pine was recently awarded with the Jack Kent Cooke scholarship, the largest privately funded scholarship of its kind in the nation. The generous scholarship grants students $30,000.
Pine’s recognition marks the second time in three years that a SMC student was awarded the scholarship, college officials said.
The winners are chosen by a selection committee made up of 37 admissions professionals, predominantly from selective four-year institutions. Pine was one of only 73 students chosen from 769 nominees from 377 community colleges.
“I was happy, but not surprised that Scott Pine was the recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship,” said SMC President Dr. Chui L. Tsang. “He is extremely focused on getting an education and he is on a mission.
“Scott is a remarkable young man who is determined, goal-oriented and has distinguished himself as an outstanding student,” Tsang said. “They couldn’t have picked a more deserving person.”
A star football player in high school, Pine sustained severe head trauma that caused him to lose his ability to read, write and speak. During his recovery — he had to re-learn to talk, walk and eat — Pine realized he needed to pay more attention to what was truly important, which is his education.
“Losing brain function revealed the importance for me to embrace my remaining talents and opportunities in school,” Pine said.
“He is simply amazing and inspiring and kind and impressive and the best example of an outstanding graduate that I have ever seen at SMC,” said Kiersten Elliott, SMC’s dean of Enrollment Services.