Cristina Mihailescu: LaGuardia's latest JKC winner

by Joshua Robert


Cristina Mihailescu is LaGuardia Community College's latest Jack Kent Cooke (JKC) Undergraduate Scholar. This prestigious scholarship program offers, up to $30,000 per year to attend a four-year undergraduate school, with special personal advising about selecting the right college, guidance on transitioning to college, and tips to maximize the student's experience.


Cristina's story of perseverance, is inspiring to everyone who faces adversity in their pursuit of higher education. With her time at LaGuardia coming to an end she faced many tough decisions. Burdened by her own personal and financial situations, Cristina said, "I was ready to give up, as a single mother struggling for money, how was I going to move forward with my education?" Cristina questioned if she could continue her pursuit of higher education, with so many other personal responsibilities holding her back from her desires to continue her education. Despite the prospect of attending a four-year institution seemingly out of her reach, Cristina pushed onwards, constantly taking advice from her peers and instructors.


Eventually she applied to the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship, which would afford her the ability to continue her education. To Cristina's surprise, she was one of only forty students from around the country to win this elusive scholarship. Earning this award has changed Cristina's life; she is no longer satisfied with just an Associate degree. "I really want to succeed, I need to live up to everyone's expectations, including my own!" she exclaimed at a surprise meeting held to reveal her accomplishment.


As many who have met Cristina would say, "she never gives up, that is what makes her successful".  Cristina's story is particularly inspirational to everyone who dreams of a path in higher education, yet has many obstacles that stand in their way. Through the lessons of her determination and perseverance, it becomes clear that one can fulfill their dreams to create a better future for themselves and their family.

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