Newton Campus Student Wins Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship

04/19/2013
Contact: Rebecca Rakoczy
Phone: 770-278-1396
Fax: 678-891-2966
Author: Rebecca Rakoczy

For Immediate Release

When Georgia Perimeter College student Adhithya Rajasekaran came to the United States from India in 2010, he was 16 years old and didn’t speak a word of English. “I had learned how to write and read English in my country but had never spoken a word,” he recalls. “So I became a listener for a very long time and never opened my mouth.”

He listened well. Rajasekaran has won the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship program honors outstanding community college students as they transfer to top four-year colleges and universities.

The scholarship awards up to $30,000 per year and is intended to cover a significant share of the student’s educational expenses—including tuition, living expenses, books and required fees—for up to three years. Rajasekaran is one of 60 scholars nationwide selected to receive the scholarship this year and is the 10th GPC student to win this award since 2002.

“I feel extremely honored to receive this prestigious scholarship. It was a pleasant surprise when the president of the college called me and informed me about my selection,” Rajasekaran says. “The scholarship removes uncertainties lingering around my education and allows me to concentrate more on my academics.  This is a momentous time in my life.” Rajasekaran, 18, is president of Phi Theta Kappa honors society on Georgia Perimeter College’s Newton Campus. He also is president of the campus History and Politics club, and vice president of the Newton Student Government Association. And, he founded “ABLE,” the Accounting, Business Law and Economics club on campus.

Now fluent in English, he tutors other students in math and also works at home, developing educational software for fun. 

“When I get home, I stay home. My mom is very strict, and she wants me to stay focused on my studies,” he says. “So while I’m at school, I wanted to get involved as much as I could—my socializing place is here in college. I wanted to get involved and learn about other cultures.”

Rajasekaran, a math major, graduates from GPC May 3 and plans to study electrical engineering at Georgia Tech.

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Georgia Perimeter College, the largest state college of the University System of Georgia, serves approximately 23,000 students through four campuses and several sites in metro Atlanta. For additional information, visit www.gpc.edu.