(Charlottesville, Va.) – Piedmont Virginia Community College student Ayesha Khan has been awarded the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.

Awarded annually, the Jack Kent Cooke (JKC) Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship assists top community college students seeking to complete their bachelor’s degrees and is the largest private scholarship for community college transfer students in the United States. The scholarship is highly competitive, with the JKC Foundation hand-selecting approximately 85 recipients each year from thousands of applicants.

Khan, originally of Bangladesh, is a computer science major who gained national recognition in the information technology field when she was one of only three community college students selected to present her student project, “Personalized Job Matching,” at the international Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference in Houston, Texas, in fall 2015.

According to Khan, receiving this scholarship brings her that much closer to achieving her dreams, as the scholarship will meet all financial needs up to $40,000 per year for the two to three years it will take for her to complete her baccalaureate degree.

“When I received the call that I had been selected as a winner, I was overwhelmed,” said Khan. “I have been through a lot of hardships to get a quality education all my life and this scholarship will make my path to education a lot smoother. I feel like this is a reward for all my hard work and persistence. This scholarship has opened the doors to higher education for me.”

To be eligible for the scholarship, students must demonstrate achievement and academic ability, financial need, persistence and leadership skills, and a dedication to helping or serving others. In addition, students must be a current community college student with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and have not previously enrolled or attended a four-year college or university.

Khan graduated from PVCC in May 2016 and is currently working as a software engineer intern at Cisco Systems Inc., in San Jose, Calif. Once her internship is complete, she will transfer to a four-year college to complete her bachelor’s degree in computer science with a focus on machine learning and data mining. Khan says that her ultimate goal is to own her own software development company one day.

To learn more about the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, visit www.jkcf.org. To learn more about PVCC’s programs of study, visit www.pvcc.edu/programs, or call 434.961.6581.