FCC Honors Student Wins Prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship


An FCC honors student has been awarded a prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.

Jake Mathews, who will graduate from FCC later this year with an Associate of Arts Degree in general studies, was one of just 61 community college students nationwide and one of three in Maryland chosen for the scholarship, which will provide him up to $40,000 annually for a maximum of three years to complete his bachelor’s degree.

“We are grateful to the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation for their commitment to higher education and for awarding these scholarships to outstanding college students like Jake,” FCC President Elizabeth Burmaster said. “We are proud of all Jake’s accomplishments and are glad he has taken advantage of the many academic opportunities available at FCC, including our Honors College.”  

After completing his FCC degree, Jake plans to transfer to College of William and Mary in Virginia, where he wants to earn a bachelor’s degree in economics or government. He also now hopes to attend law school, something he previously assumed was out of reach for him since he was planning to pay for his undergraduate degree on his own.

Jake started at FCC two years ago, after spending a few years after high school working a variety of odd jobs and trying to break into the music industry. After helping support his wife, Laurén, while she earned her bachelor’s degree, he decided a college education was the next best step for him, too.

After enrolling at FCC, Jake quickly got involved with the Honors College thanks to the support from Dr. Bruce Thompson, Honors Coordinator. It was encouragement and advice from Dr. Thompson that motivated Jake to apply for this scholarship.

“Jake is a role model for honors learning,” Dr. Thompson said. “His original research on how the Democratic Party maintained power in the Maryland got him selected to present at the Northeast Regional Honors Council conference, and his commitment to public service inspires others to make a difference.”

In addition to the monetary scholarship provided by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Jake will also receive comprehensive education advising and a connection to other scholarship awardees and program alumni, something he is especially looking forward to. Jake hopes it will be similar to the connections he has with other students in the FCC Honors College, who he says help each other stay motivated and continue to succeed.

He is also grateful to the supportive environment he found at FCC.

“FCC has provided me the opportunity, flexibility, and affordability to change my life for the better and I hope others will take advantage of that,” Jake said.