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Welcome Back! The College’s first Jack Kent Cooke Scholar returns to campus.

Namema talking with Lafayette Smith of the Counseling Office

It’s been 11 years since Namema Amendi set foot on the MCC campus. He returned Nov. 27 with an inspiring message for students of today.

It’s been a busy decade for the Kenyan native. He graduated from MCC in 2007 and received a Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship to attend Columbia University. It fully covered both his undergraduate costs and law school at the Ivy League institution. In between, he worked at Columbia’s neuroscience lab, exploring pain processing and consciousness, and he had a paper published on the subject in the scientific journal “Psych Science.”

He was at Microsoft for a year and did consulting in Washington D.C., before returning to New York. He is now working part time for a law firm and has founded a leadership development program called “The Conclave.”

“It brings 25 young professionals together each quarter to talk about finance, politics and mentorship,” he said. The goal is to help young people plan their future and to develop a spirit of community.

Namema was MCC’s first Jack Kent Cooke Scholar; there have been three since. He told the MCC students that the scholarship paved the way for him to go to Columbia.

And he also spoke of the College’s effect on his life.

“It provided me with a sense of home,” he said. “Going to MCC was one of the best decisions of my life. It’s not going to be easy, but the preparation you are receiving at MCC is preparing you well. Make use of all the resources here.”