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RCC Student Selected for Prestigious Transfer Scholarship

RCC Student Selected for Prestigious Transfer Scholarship

Gene Steinberg

DATE: April 20, 2017

One of just 55 in the nation chosen by Cooke Foundation

RAMAPO – Rockland Community College student Gene Steinberg is one of only 55 community college students from around the nation selected to receive the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The scholarship is worth up to $40,000 a year for the student to complete a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university.

Nearly 3,000 students applied for the scholarship this year. Recipients are selected based on their financial need and strong record of academic achievement as shown by grades, leadership skills, awards, extraordinary service to others and perseverance in the face of adversity.

Although Steinberg lacked a secular education while being raised in a Hasidic, Yiddish-speaking community, he adapted quickly to the rigors of college life and excelled academically. After teaching himself English, he enrolled at RCC and swiftly rose to honors level. He maintains a 3.94 GPA, majoring in Liberal Arts: Social Science & Humanities.

Steinberg founded OTD Meetup, a social support group for individuals separating from the Orthodox religious communities in which they were raised, and previously volunteered with Footsteps, an organization that provides support and guidance for this population, where he was instrumental in starting their Rockland County programming.

At RCC, Steinberg reactivated the ActiveMinds Mental Health Awareness Club and served as its president. He advocates for students dealing with mental health issues and works closely with campus mental health counselors. He also serves as a peer mentor and was awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence in 2016.


Steinberg, now a resident of New City, hopes to eventually obtain a master’s degree in social work, with the goal of becoming a licensed clinical social worker.


The Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is the largest private scholarship in the nation for students transferring from two-year community colleges to four-year institutions that award bachelor’s degrees. After earning a bachelor’s degree, each Cooke Scholar may be eligible for a scholarship for graduate school worth up to $50,000 a year for up to four years.