Karima Ben Ayed, a student of Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), has won one of the 40 national scholarships from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. The Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship provides up to $30,000 a year toward tuition, living expenses and required fees for the final two-to-three years needed to achieve a bachelor’s degree.
NOVA President Robert G. Templin Jr. congratulated Ben Ayed on behalf of the College. “We are so delighted to hear that Karima has been selected for this nationally prestigious award. Her hard work and dedication have paid off and her opportunities are endless as she continues on her academic journey.”
Ben Ayed was an F-1 international student at the Alexandria Campus who graduated in December 2009 with associate degrees in business administration and general studies. While at NOVA, she held a 3.97 grade point average.
She has also been very involved in the life of the College, serving as president of the International Club, Phi Theta Kappa, and co-founder of the Student Alliance of Women’s Interest. In addition, she has been nominated and selected to be a member of the 2010 All Virginia Academic Team and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and has been featured in Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges.
Originally from Tunisia and now a resident of Alexandria, Ben Ayed came to the United States from Germany in 2008 with the idea of fulfilling her dream of obtaining a college education.
“I would like to thank my professors and the College for giving me this opportunity,” said Ben Ayed. “I feel privileged to have been a part of such a great support system at NOVA and to feel like a part of the American dream, where my dreams are coming true.”
Ben Ayed plans to pursue degrees in business and education with an international approach. She has already been accepted to American University and is waiting to hear from Georgetown University, Brown University and the University of Virginia.
Ben Ayed is the fourth NOVA student in the last five years to receive the scholarship. She is preceded by Dan F. Nechita (2006), Jean-Blaise Ognong (2007) and Edward Sawyer (2009).
Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.