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Meet Rusty Cohen Scholarship Recipient Marci Santos

For the past month, we’ve been walking you through the ins and outs of our Scholar Dollars and ELD Grant programs, as well as our incredible Scholarship offerings. This month, we’re bringing you some one on one interviews with scholarship funders and partners, Scholars who have received funding, and more.

We spoke with Marci Santos, current Sophomore at Hope College, and recipient of the Rusty Cohen Legacy Scholarship Fund with Chicago Scholars and Magid, about how she landed the scholarship, what it’s allowed her the freedom to do, and what it means to her to be a recipient.

Hi Marci! Tell Us A Bit About Yourself and Where You Go To School

I am a First Generation Latina student studying Business and Political Science at Hope College. I’m also a Chicago Scholar from the Class of 2027, as well as a recipient of the Rusty Cohen Scholarship. I am currently a Phelps Scholar, Vander Werf Scholar and am involved in a number of student organizations on campus!”

Can you tell us about the Scholarship you received?

I am a recipient of the Rusty Cohen Legacy Scholarship. This scholarship is in honor of Rusty Cohen, who was the leader of Magid Glove and Safety. He was a personable and generous man who worked to keep people safe at work and supported young people in attaining higher education. This scholarship aims to support students working towards a college education with preference towards those interested in the Environmental Health and Safety careers.”

How were you able to secure your scholarship?

“When the Magid site visit came around, I jumped at the chance to go, and expressed a high interest in the community and work they did there. I also got the opportunity to connect with the employees at Magid while learning about their jobs during a career fair. During my application and interview, I was able to leverage this previous visit and exposure. Most of all, I made sure to tell my story and be myself. At my core I am hardworking and a light hearted which I brought into my interview.”

Finally, how has the scholarship impacted your college experience and journey?

“Being a recipient of the Rusty Cohen Scholarship has allowed me to do things I had never thought of before coming to college. I’m a First Generation student, so I had no real reference to the classes I would be taking or what opportunities there would even be on campus for me. This scholarship lifted the financial load significantly on me and my family. With the Scholarship, I’ve had the freedom to explore and take advantage of pretty much all of the opportunities on campus. I joined the Business Club and traveled to Washington D.C and Chicago to learn about different career opportunities which I wouldn’t have been able to without this scholarship. Not only that, but I have been able to allocate more time to my studies and maintain good grades.”

Interested in starting your own scholarship with Chicago Scholars? Reach out to our Director of Scholar Support and Scholarships, Amy Galibois, at Or, want to donate to our larger scholarship funding? Head HERE!