Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber Awards Over $9,500 in Montgomery College Scholarships

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Gaithersburg /Germantown, MD (December 16, 2021) – The Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce (GGCC) is proud of its Montgomery College Scholarship Program. Our local economy relies on an educated workforce.

The Chamber Scholarship program provides financial assistance to Montgomery College students pursuing higher education. Each year, with the help of its donors, the Chamber awards students Montgomery College Scholarships at its Annual Celebration Dinner & Awards Ceremony. To date we have raised over $400,000 including an endowment of over $150,000 established to ensure future giving for students. We have awarded over 115 scholarships to Montgomery College students.

On the evening of December 9, 2021, the Chamber awarded $9,520 in scholarships to five Montgomery College students, with different majors– cybersecurity, computer & general engineering, bioengineering & computer science.

I’m so proud of our Chamber and this scholarship program,”  said Marilyn Balcombe, GGCC President / CEO. “These students are the future of Montgomery County, and we are very happy to support them

While the Chamber is proud of our accomplishments, the GGCC could not have done it without the leadership of Jim Muir, Vice President at Hughes Network Systems.

Muir, along with Margaret Latimer, Vice President and Provost, of Montgomery College Germantown Campus, took the stage at the Doubletree by Hilton in Gaithersburg, Maryland to award the five students their scholarships.

“As finances continue to be an obstacle for so many students, I cannot thank the Chamber and all of the businesses who have made contributions to the scholarship endowment over the years,” said Latimer. “Through your unwavering support, you make a difference in the lives of our students, their families and our local economy. It is a great privilege to serve alongside a group of professionals who value and support local talent development.”

About the Students

Vanessa Cruz is a first generation student and she believes that as a Latina she can contribute to the engineering field.  She wants to educate and promote STEM fields in the Latinx community.  In her spare time, she volunteers for the International Rescue Committee and tutors’ young refugees and asylees. 

Raymonde Kamgang Zebaze’s professional goals include earning a Bachelor’s Degree at a University in Maryland, establishing a career where she can use her information technology skills and continue to be a writer. She enjoys writing  and creating poetry. When she lived in Cameroon she would tutor children on how to navigate the basic computer skills. Zebaze is anticipated to graduate in the Spring of 2022.

David Francisco Rodriguez enjoys programming so much that he treats the assigned computer science homework projects as a hobby.  He holds two jobs in order to make ends meet and this scholarship helped with his tuition & fee charges since he pays out-of-county. There have been times where he stays up to 3:00 a.m. in order to complete his college work.  He considers himself a “tech savvy and solution-oriented individual” and he hopes to complete finish his studies at Montgomery College and then transfer to a four-year institution.

Ka Yang is a full-time bioengineering student enrolled for 12 credits and has already registered for 7 credits for the upcoming spring semester.  Having lost his father at young age has given him the drive to earn a college education.  Because of his technology knowledge he contributed many hours of community service, one of the many examples include building computers from broken donated parts and tutoring  middle school students.

Nicholas Prakoso is a 2019 graduate from Richard Montgomery High School.  He plans to complete the required courses in Computer Engineering at Montgomery College and is considering transferring to the University of Maryland College Park to continue his undergraduate studies in the same field of study.  He is a full-time student and holds a part-time in order to help cover his basic needs.  He doesn’t have the support from his parents and this scholarship is helping him get closer to reaching his educational goal.

At the conclusion of the award ceremony, Muir said “with the high cost of a college education today many young people are graduating with significant debt or giving up the dream of going to college altogether. Thank you for supporting the dreams of the future of tomorrow.”

To make a donation towards the “GGCC – Montgomery College Scholarship Foundation”, visit Please note that the donation is from the “GGCC” when completing the online donation. Montgomery College has 54,000 students across three campuses and online; has awarded $50 million in financial aid annually; and there are 165 countries represented by student population. To learn more about the college, visit:


The GGCC is active in providing business-to-business networking opportunities throughout the year: a collective voice in local, regional, and state legislative affairs, professional development opportunities and other services that enhance the business environment. 

The GGCC is located at 910 Clopper Road, Suite 205N, Gaithersburg, MD. To learn more about the GGCC visit us at Find us! Facebook: | Twitter: @GGCCNEWS | Instagram: gburggermantownchamber