by Guest Writer Zoey Chu
Barely anyone knows about the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. The only people who know about the foundation are corporations, colleges, and a handful of people who happen to stumble upon it in the media or online — quite a handful of this handful found the foundation through NPR, a radio broadcasting channel. I, myself, had never heard of this generous and extraordinary foundation until seventh grade through my older sister, Haylie, who was hunting for college scholarships to pay off her college tuition. She said to me, “Hey, they have a program for high school kids, and you’re eligible to apply. Go for it.”
I thought, why not? And after sending in three recommendation letters, at least ten small essays, one large essay, transcripts, and test scores, I was rewarded with an interview. At that point, I did not even know what I was getting into. What was this strange program my sister had sort of forced me into applying for? In order to better prepare myself for the interview, I read through the program’s website.
Whatever I was applying for was called the “Young Scholars Program,” which happened to be a five year long scholarship that encompassed a bit of my eighth grade year, and all of my high school years. And in this scholarship, I would be awarded thousands of dollars to go to summer programs, prepare for the SAT, or buy school supplies, and there would be a person — an actual human being — who would advise me for the rest of my high school career.
After digging a little deeper, I found out that a man named Jack Kent Cooke, who was basically a multi-millionaire, had decided to dedicate a large chunk of his fortune after his death to bettering the education of those in financial need. And the greatest part is, the Young Scholars program is not the only program he funds. Other than the Young Scholars program, there are also the Undergraduate Transfer Program, College Scholars Program, and multiple other generous grants.
I ultimately landed myself with the scholarship and was able to maximize my education with the generous amounts of money portioned off for me, including my four week trip to England last summer to study English Literature and Creative writing.
Four years ago, I did not quite understand completely how incredibly generous the JKCF really is and how lucky I was to be one of the 52 chosen out of over 1,000 applicants.
It doesn’t stop there. SENIORS! This is for you. There is the College Scholars Program in which the foundation will fund you with up to $40,000 each year, along with providing you with a college adviser and a MacBook Pro. Not to mention, the program will also willingly help you out with study abroad fees during your four years in university. Along with that, you become connected with thousands of other people within the foundation including young scholars, undergraduate scholars, undergraduate transfer scholars, graduate scholars, Alumni, and executives. Applications start this September 30 and will close in exactly one month on November 30.
I personally went through half a decade with the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and there is nothing more that I recommend. The competition will be tight, knowing that I’m putting the word out and that the foundation is getting ever so more tech savvy. But, as the Foundation believes, everyone despite economical background or race or religion deserves to receive the greatest and highest quality education.
And quite honestly, there’s only three things you need to do. And those are: Think big. Work hard. Achieve.