Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship recipient epitomizes excellence

Keith Montes, Senior staff writer

Angad Singh Padda bears an everlasting gracious smile and humble heart while achieving his outstanding academic success. Padda was awarded the Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Scholarship which pays up to $120,000 to cover undergraduate tuition, living expenses, books and required fees.

Padda is majoring in business administration at Diablo Valley College and has been accepted to the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley.

Padda attributes his academic success to his ambition. 

“There were times when I was juggling state and collegiate level leadership positions at a National Business Organization, mentoring underprivileged high school students, teaching golf and Tabla (an Indian classical music instrument), tutoring mathematics and economics, engaging in finance and public speaking competitions and maintaining a 4.0 GPA on four hours of sleep a night,” he wrote in an email. 

Padda, an international student from India, says his long-term goal is to work in the non-profit sector in India to aid in eliminating the socioeconomic disparities within their society. Additionally, he would like to improve the standard of living in rural Indian communities.

Upon completing his undergraduate degree in business administration from Haas, Padda says he sees himself working, “in the corporate sector for a couple of years to gain practical experience before pursuing an MBA degree focused towards finance and strategy.” 

Padda would like other students who come from minority backgrounds to be aware that the Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Scholarship exists.

“Being the first Sikh student to have won the scholarship, I also want other students from minority backgrounds to know that their aspirations can come to fruition despite several misconceptions,” he said.

Family is of utmost importance to Padda as well.

“My family means the world to me,” he said. “And I would not be where I am today without the faith and support of my family members … The Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship is a prestigious scholarship and my family and I feel grateful for the honor.”

Elizabeth Davidson, communications manager for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, said the foundation doesn’t comment on individual award recipients. She said 90 students were chosen out of 3,800 applicants from 540 community colleges nationwide.

“Personally, I feel driven to work even harder and am determined to make a difference in the lives of others,” Padda said, “The same way the Jack Kent Cooke foundation has made a difference in mine.”