As an engineering student with a fascination for math, Mohammad Noormohammad immediately started calculating the probability that he could win the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s prestigious Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship when he heard about the opportunity.

While the odds seemed highly competitive just looking at the numbers, Mohammad came to Truman College looking for opportunities, so he decided to apply anyway. And it’s a good thing he did – Mohammad recently found out that, out of over 1,300 applicants, he was one of 72 community college students across the country selected for the scholarship, which will allow him to earn his bachelor’s degree for free.

As a first-generation college student, Mohammad has grown accustomed to charting his own path forward and seeking out unique opportunities to advance his education. After attending religious school for much of his upbringing, he decided to homeschool himself for his first two years of high school – teaching himself math straight out of the textbook.

To take advantage of a more traditional learning environment and the associated opportunities, he then enrolled at Truman Middle College for his junior and senior year, where he was able to work towards his high school diploma and earn college credits at the same time. Attending the school also allowed him to qualify for the Star Scholarship to finish his associate degree at City Colleges for free.

Mohammad made the seamless transition from Truman Middle College to Truman College in 2019, where he was able to explore a wide array of career options. With the support of his advisors and after considering all of his different paths, he ultimately decided that mechanical engineering – a profession where he’d be able to work with his hands – was the ideal field for him.

Due to his interest in engineering, Mohammad starting taking classes at Wright College, which boasts an Engineering Pathways Program with guaranteed admission to well-respected four-year universities. Through one of those partnerships, he’s been accepted into the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he looks forward to transferring this fall with the support of the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.

Even for those who don’t consider themselves “math people,” it seems clear that the odds of Mohammad having a bright future are almost certain.

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