OCC Student Selected for Prestigious National $40,000 Annual Scholarship

Graduate of PSLA at Fowler High School is one of only 50 recipients nationwide

Nidaa Aljabarrin has been selected to receive the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s prestigious Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The highly competitive national scholarship will provide Aljabarrin with up to $40,000 a year to complete her bachelor’s degree, and up to $75,000 of funding toward graduate school. Aljabarrin is one of only 50 recipients nationwide and one of only five in all of New York State. The other four New York State recipients are all from the New York City area.

Aljabarrin’s career aspirations are motivated by family tragedy. While growing up in Syria, one of her brothers died from asthma because proper medical care was unavailable. His death set her on a path to pursue a medical-related career helping others.

Aljabarrin moved to the United States in 2016 along with her parents and nine siblings. Arabic was her native language. She mastered English by going to the North Side Learning Center for tutoring every day after school. She graduated from PSLA at Fowler in 2018.

Aljabarrin attended Onondaga Community College tuition-free as a member of the first class of students in the Lillian Slutzker Honors College. She was an officer in the College’s chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa which was recently named the 5th best chapter in the world.

Aljabarrin will earn her associate degree in Mathematics & Science next month, then transfer to Syracuse University where she will major in Biochemistry. She also plans to attend medical school and major in Clinical Genetics.

OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill.

“We know this is a very uncertain time for many students and their families. We remain deeply committed to supporting high-achieving community college students to ensure they have the resources to reach their full academic potential,” said Seppy Basili, Executive Director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. “We are excited to welcome this new class of Cooke Transfer Scholars and look forward to seeing the many amazing things they do as they continue their transfer journey.”

“We are so proud of Nidaa. Her desire to succeed and her perseverance are an inspiration to our entire campus community. We’re thankful to the Lillian Slutzker Foundation which provided her the opportunity to come to OCC, and we’re equally grateful to the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation for recognizing the potential of this amazing person whom we have had the privilege of having on our campus for the last two years,” said OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill.

“Thank you to the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation! This scholarship will change my life. It’s such a relief to know it will help me pay for my bachelor’s degree and medical school. I’m so grateful to OCC and wish I could stay for two more years. Everything I’ve done here has given back to me in some way,” said Aljabarrin.