Two DCCC students selected as All-PA Academic Scholars

President Dr. L. Joy Gates Black (center) with All-PA students (from left) Yesenia Diaz (Lopez) and Sourou Mariettte Carolle Zounon of Delaware County Community College.

Delaware County Community College students Yesenia Diaz (Lopez) of Kennett Square and Sourou Mariette Carolle Zounon of Upper Darby were among 46 community college students statewide  selected recently as All-Pennsylvania Academic Team scholars. The honor includes free tuition to any of the state’s 14 Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) universities.

The two straight-A students were honored on April 9 at the 24th Annual All-PA awards banquet, during which each student went on stage and received a special medallion from Delaware County Community College President Dr. L. Joy Gates Black. The banquet, which was held in Harrisburg, is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges (PACCC), along with Phi Theta Kappa, an international honor society for community colleges.

The awards recognize community college students who have achieved academic excellence and demonstrated a commitment to their colleges, as well as to their communities through volunteer service. All-PA students must have completed at least 36 credits at a community college, must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher, and must be on track to receive an associate or bachelor’s degree. Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges partner with the PASSHE universities to provide the scholarships.

“Yesenia and Sourou are exceptional students who have taken full advantage of the quality educational and student activity programs at the College and now have the opportunity, through the All-PA Academic Team Scholars program, to achieve a bachelor’s degree tuition-free at a PASSHE school of their choice,” Dr. Gates Black said.

Both Diaz and Zounon are Business Administration majors and will be participating in Delaware County Community College’s Commencement ceremonies on May 17 at West Chester University. Diaz is interested in becoming an entrepreneur and Zounon wants to become a certified public accountant. Both were peer mentors at the College.

Diaz graduated from the College last December and is currently attending West Chester University. A native of Mexico, Diaz was instrumental in reestablishing and substantially increasing the membership of the College’s student-led LatinX Student Association, which fosters understanding of Hispanic cultures through events and helps raise money for the College’s Educational Foundation for the Dream Today scholarship. The Dream Today scholarship is a priority for first-generation college students, or immigrants, who do not qualify for financial aid. Diaz also was a student success ambassador at the College. When not studying, she works part-time at a banquet facility in Aston and as a work study student at West Chester University in the office of the Dean of Arts and Humanities.

A native of Benin, Africa, Zounon is a devoted mother of two small children, who helped beautify a community garden next to the Darby Borough Free Library while interning for the Darby Borough Community Development Corporation. She currently works part-time at EMS Financial Services in Aston. Previously, she volunteered at VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), which provides free, tax preparation assistance to low-income people.

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