Pasadena City College's Samuel Jo and El Camino College's Cindy Ngo, both swimmers for their respective schools, are the recipients of the 2017-2018 Don MacKenzie Memorial Scholarships. The two student-athletes receive $1,000 awards from the South Coast Conference.
The MacKenzie Scholarships go to sophomore student-athletes who exhibit strong academics and high performance on the field of play. In some cases, the student-athletes chosen are ones who also have overcome obstacles and involve themselves in community service. The awards honor the memory of MacKenzie, a long-time SCC commissioner from 1979-2004.
Jo is the first Pasadena athlete to win the award in nine years. Ngo is one of the three El Camino students who have won the award in the past two seasons alone.
A two-time South Coast Conference Men's Swimmer of the Year, Jo won three state titles in his two seasons at PCC, including two straight years as the 100-yard backstroke champ. At the 2018 CCCAA State Meet, Jo smashed three Lancers school records in the 100, 200 backstroke and the team's 200 medley relay. He helped PCC win its first SCC dual meet title (perfect 7-0) and achieve its highest finish at state (sixth) since 1978. Recently, Jo was honored as the 2017-18 PCC Men's Athlete of the Year for all sports. A graduate from Loyola High, Jo earned a 3.44 GPA as a kinesiology major. He has performed community service as a volunteer at the Good Shepherd Shelter, which provides sanctuary for family members who suffered through domestic violence. At the shelter, Jo assisted children in helping with their reading and writing skills. He has also volunteered at Project Angel Food, preparing meals for those with critical illnesses.
Jo, who has aspirations to become a physician assistant, is currently deciding between several universities as he plans on continuing his education and swim career at a 4-year university. He swam under PCC head coach Terry Stoddard.
Ngo led the El Camino women's swim team as a 2-time conference champion in both the 50 and 100-yard freestyle events. She was a state silver medalist in the 50 free as a freshman. At the 2018 state meet, she earned three top 4 medals. An accomplished student with a 3.9 GPA, Ngo is a sociology major and is headed to UC San Diego where she will continue her swim career and education. Ngo has volunteered her time for Habitat for Humanity, helping with the building of homes for those in need. She is serving as a Los Angeles County Ocean Lifeguard, something she wants to pursue as a career. Before coming to El Camino, Ngo attended/graduated from West High in Torrance. She swam at ECC under head coach Corey Stanbury.
South Coast Conference student-athletes with the help of their athletic directors can apply later next season for the 2018-19 MacKenzie Scholarships at the link below: