T’wina Nobles Young Professionals Scholarship Recipients

Two students awarded T’wina Nobles Young Professionals Scholarships

Kenneth Gainey and Maureen Chege were honored at the Tacoma Urban League Empowerment Awards ceremony in November 2021.

Clover Park Technical College is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 T’wina Nobles Young Professionals Scholarship. CPTC students Kenneth Gainey and Maureen Chege each received a $5,000 scholarship split between winter and spring quarters of 2022. The award helps with tuition, fees, books and program supplies. Funding is provided by the Tacoma Urban League and matched by the CPTC Foundation.

Gainey and Chege were honored at the Tacoma Urban League Empowerment Awards ceremony, held virtually in November 2021. View the scholarship presentation on the Tacoma Urban League’s YouTube channel. 

Preparing a new generation

The T’wina Nobles Young Professionals Scholarship launched in 2019. Nobles is a Washington state senator representing the 26th Legislative District and president and CEO of the Tacoma Urban League.

In the spirit of the National Urban League Young Professionals, the scholarship is intended to help prepare a new generation of young leaders to empower their communities and change lives. Each year it is awarded to two students of color at CPTC who are interested in taking an active leadership role in social justice and civil rights. Students are required to be enrolled in 12 credits or more for the winter quarter following receipt of the award.

Plans to soar

“I decided to quit the dead end jobs and finally do something I have wanted to do for the last 10 years,” said Kenneth Gainey, a student enrolled in CPTC’s Professional Pilot Program. “It has been a long time coming to starting the program at Clover Park Technical College.”

Gainey drives school buses in the morning and afternoon to pay the bills. “There is a lot that goes into school and providing for my son,” Gainey said. Receiving the T’wina Nobles Young Professionals Scholarship helps pay for necessary program supplies, instructor and registration fees, fuel, class costs, supplies and more.

When he completes his Private Pilot Certificate, Gainey plans to apply to the Horizon Airlines Pilot Development Program. A partnership between CPTC and Horizon offers future flyers a path and financial assistance to become airline pilots.

He also hopes to become more involved in social justice issues. “I’d like to participate in any way I can,” he said. “Social justice is something that affects my son, now and in the future.”

Keeping a promise

Despite significant barriers, school has always been important to Maureen Chege, a student in CPTC’s Medical Assistant Program. As an elementary school student in her home country of Kenya in East Africa, Chege woke up at 5 am to walk to school. Because her school didn’t have running water, she had to carry a three-gallon jug each day in her backpack.

When she completed high school, financial constraints prevented her from attending college. She spent several years working a variety of jobs to save enough money to make that happen. Eventually, she earned an associate degree in business administration.

In 2018, Chege left a difficult life in Kenya and moved to the U.S. for a fresh start. School remained a top priority. “I promised myself I would go back to school,” she said. “The T’wina Nobles scholarship has helped make that a reality.”

Chege will complete the medical assistant program in 2023 and plans to pursue an advanced degree.

“We are very proud of Kenneth Gainey and Maureen Chege for their initiative and commitment to achievement, leadership and social justice,” said CPTC President Dr. Joyce Loveday. “They are pursuing goals that will be transformational for their families and community, and I’m pleased they have chosen CPTC as a pathway to achieve those goals.”

For more information about the T’wina Nobles Young Professional Scholarship and to donate to the fund, visit the Clover Park Technical College Foundation website.