BLOG: Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber Awards Over $15K in Montgomery College Scholarships

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.

On the evening of December 5, 2019, the Chamber awarded $15,220 in scholarships to seven Montgomery College students, with different majors– cybersecurity, computer, chemical & mechanical engineering, bioengineering & computer science.

“It’s important for us to support the work of Montgomery College. The GGCC knows how important it is to have a strong pipeline of educated employees. And what could be better than giving money to hard working students to help them succeed?” said Marilyn Balcombe, GGCC President / CEO

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

“The evolution and journey of the Chamber Scholarship has been one of togetherness,” said Muir. “It has been a collective effort and a testament that you can go fast and far with the right team.”

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 seven students their scholarships.

Vivian Kemngang is currently majoring in cybersecurity at Montgomery College. She is a single mother of two boys who works and attends school, both full-time. Kemngang said “I am so honored to have been selected as a recipient of the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce scholarship. I am so thankful for this incredible opportunity of hope to our family. This would help allow me focus more on my education goals since some of my financial burden has been reduced with the privileges of awarding me a scholarship”. Additionally, Kemngang is very active in her community, volunteering at St John Neumann Catholic Church on Sundays with the Religious Formation Group; as well as volunteering with Helping Hands USA to feed the poor when needed.

Hyejin Lim went back to school at the age of twenty-five to pursue her dream to become a chemical engineer. Lim said, “coming back to school was not planned at all”. She immigrated to the United States in 2017 due to her husband’s millitary assignment to Maryland. “Moving to a new Country was like clicking a reset button on my life”, Lim said. “I had a hard time to adjust to living here for the first six months, I wanted a new life goal and decided to go back to school”.

And that new life for Hyejin was Montgomery College (MC) where she currently majors in chemical engineering with a 4.0 GPA. She said “MC helped me foget the hardships I was going through as an immigrant by giving me hopes and helps me pursue my new dream”.

“I immigrated to the United States two years ago”, said Sepehr Tabaeizadeh. “This scholarship gives me the hope that I can accomplish my goals, and it also taught me that good things come when you least expect it”.

Tabaeizadeh is a computer science major with a 4.0 GPA and a member of Global Nexus Student Advisory Board. After obtaining his associate degree, he plans to transfer to the University of Maryland College Park to complete his education. He expressed interest in business, with potentially owning his company one day.

Alima Ballo is a bioengineering student with big aspriations. She volunteers to pack and distribute food at Bethel Outreach Church and donate clothes to disadvantaged families and homeless throughout Montgomery County. Although, she is not at the stage in her life where she can make an impact on the health of people globally, she still finds it valuable to help those closest to her on a smaller scale. Additionally, Ballo is a member of the Women in Engineering Science and Technology club and actively participates in enginering & STEM conferences; especially those specifically related to women in science.

Shuayb Farooq is studying mechanical engineering at Montgomery College and currently serves as a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers club at the Rockville campus.

Lucas Balangero majors in computer science. Outside of classes, he is involved in the software development club were they discuss different topics regarding computer science and learn more about real-life scenarios. Balangero volunteers at different events at Montgomery College and  local schools. He was instrumental in helping  the software development club, proctor and grade exams for a programming competition for high schools in the area.

Adam Morris is a cybersecurity major with a 3.61 grade point average. He serves as the Vice President of the Cybersecurity club. He plans and assists with host events, he relays information to the club members and help students with their class work.

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 scholarship committee is chaired by GGCC Board Member & Hughes Network Systems Vice President Jim Muir. Muir manages donations yearly from Chamber Members and GGCC Past Chairs who step up every year and make individual and personal donations.

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.

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