Brigham Young Student Among the 34 Recipients of the World's Richest Scholarship

As thousands of young men and women across the country received their baccalaureate degrees this past spring, some began preparing for their next scholarly challenge. Included in that group are 34 remarkable students who will continue their education thanks to the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Program. The recipients, chosen after a nationwide selection process that drew 977 nominees, were named this week. The Graduate Scholarships cover tuition, room, board, fees, and books - up to $300,000. The scholarships are among the most generous academic awards offered in the United States . "We're extremely proud to award much-needed and well-deserved scholarships to these students," said Joshua Wyner , executive vice president at the Foundation. "The Foundation's objective is to help advance the education of high-achieving, low-income students across the country at every level of education. By investing in these exceptional college graduates, we hope to further unleash their potential to become leaders and visionaries in their respective fields." Now in its sixth year, the Cooke graduate scholarship program has awarded more than 300 scholarships. Wyner noted that "word about the program is getting around" in the academic world, and it is now one of the most sought after graduate scholarships. The exact amount and duration of the scholarships vary by student, based on the cost of attendance and length of the graduate program, as well as other scholarships or grants the student has received. The recipients (full list below) will pursue graduate study in wide-ranging fields, including medicine, law, education, painting, international relations, and architecture, among others. The scholars include five pursuing degrees in the arts, reflecting one of the late Mr. Cooke's passions. Students attending any accredited college or university in the United States were eligible to apply. Each institution could nominate up to two students. Candidates then underwent a rigorous assessment at two stages by independent panels of academic experts, including graduate school deans, admissions counselors, and faculty. The selection criteria included academic achievement and financial need, as well as a will to succeed, leadership, and community involvement. The new Jack Kent Cooke Scholars include: In the midst of his undergraduate program at the University of Oregon , Noah Smith became paralyzed in an automobile accident. He raised money to fund his specialized rehabilitation therapy, resumed his education, and graduated summa cum laude. He plans to pursue a law career and will enter the J.D. program at the University of California, Berkeley this fall. Noah is involved in paralysis-related advocacy efforts at the state and national levels and will combine the necessity and urgency he feels as a patient-advocate with the knowledge of a legal education. Matthew Loftus was home-schooled after kindergarten and enrolled in community college at the age of 14. The eldest of 13 children, Matthew traveled to Mexico, Haiti, Kenya, Ghana, Egypt, and Yemen during the next several years, serving children in need and assisting with AIDS support groups. He was a 2004 recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation's Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, for community college students transferring to selective 4-year colleges and universities, and he now plans to attend medical school at the University of Maryland so that he can work as a physician in international relief and development. Quyen Vo. After a long journey from Vietnam to impoverished East Oakland, then to a private college preparatory school on scholarship and onward to Yale, Quyen is grateful for his educational opportunities. He chose a diverse and demanding undergraduate curriculum at Yale, and for graduate school he plans to do the same. He aims to study economic and social history, then pursue a Ph.D. investigating poverty and development in a global context. Eventually, Quyen also hopes to obtain a law degree, which will allow him to help defend the rights of the most vulnerable members of society. The students come from 20 states and 11 foreign nations. California led all states with eight scholars, followed by Maryland with three. The foreign scholars come from Belarus , Bosnia-Herzegovina , Bulgaria , Honduras , India , Iran , Israel , Jordan , Korea , Pakistan , and Sudan . The application deadline for the 2008 Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholarships is March 14, 2008 . Undergraduates or recent alumni interested in applying should contact their undergraduate institution's faculty representative for details or visit the Foundation's website: www.jackkentcookefoundation.org . The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private, independent foundation established in 2000 by the estate of Jack Kent Cooke to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential through education. It focuses in particular on students with financial need. The Foundation's programs include scholarships to undergraduate, graduate, and high school students, and grants to organizations that serve high-achieving students with financial need. # # # 2007 Recipients Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholarship Program Mohamed Bakri Khartoum, Sudan Undergraduate School : University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Graduate School Plans: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Annette Burgueno Hometown: Whittier , CA Undergraduate School: University of California, Irvine Graduate School Plans: University of Southern California Crow Cianciola Hometown: Portland , ME Undergraduate School: Maine College of Art Graduate School Plans: California College of the Arts Amparo Cid Hometown: Morgan Hill , CA Undergraduate School: Santa Clara University Graduate School Plans: University of California, Davis Kiera Clarke Hometown: Seattle , WA Undergraduate School: University of Washington Graduate School Plans: University of Washington Nikia Clarke Hometown: Albuquerque , NM Undergraduate School: Loyola Marymount University Graduate School Plans: University of Cambridge Haydee A. Cuza Hometown: Los Angeles, CA Undergraduate School : Loyola Marymount University Graduate School Plans: University of California , Los Angeles Nikhit D'sa Mumbai, India Undergraduate School : College of the Atlantic Graduate School Plans: Columbia University Sarah Dotson Hometown: Brighton, MA Undergraduate School : Colgate University Graduate School Plans: Dartmouth College Noam Faingold Hometown: Tulsa, OK Undergraduate School : University of Tulsa Graduate School Plans: New York University Christopher Fields Hometown: Blacksburg, VA Undergraduate School : Virginia Military Institute Graduate School Plans: Washington and Lee University Elizabeth Gallagher Hometown: Canby, OR Undergraduate School : Scripps College Graduate School Plans: Oxford University Rennie Gallo El Progreso, Yoro, Honduras Undergraduate School : University of Central Arkansas Graduate School Plans: Mt. Sinai School of Medicine Hadi Gharabaghi Tehran , Tehran, Iran Undergraduate School : University of Maryland , Baltimore County Graduate School Plans: New York University Farah Ghniem Amman, Jordan Undergraduate School : Massachusetts Institute of Technology Graduate School Plans: New York University Nastassia Herasimovich Minsk , Belarus Undergraduate School : Swarthmore College Graduate School Plans: Northwestern University Sadia Khanani Karachi, Pakistan Undergraduate School: Rice University Graduate School Plans: The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas Dong-Jin Kim Seoul , Korea Undergraduate School: Brigham Young University Graduate School Plans: University of Cambridge John Kimble Hometown: New Orleans , LA Undergraduate School: Princeton University Graduate School Plans: Stanford University Dung Le Hometown: Oakland , CA Undergraduate School: Stanford University Graduate School Plans: University of California, Los Angeles Matthew S. Loftus Hometown: Bel Air, MD Undergraduate School: University of Maryland, Baltimore County Graduate School Plans: University of Maryland School of Medicine Joachim Lyon Hometown: San Diego, CA Undergraduate School: University of California, San Diego Graduate School Plans: University of Edinburg Rosita Najmi Hometown: Vienna, VA Undergraduate School: Wake Forest University Graduate School Plans: Harvard University Andriana Nikolova Yambol, Bulgaria Undergraduate School: Grinnell College Graduate School Plans: Harvard University Yujune Park Hometown: Greensboro, NC Undergraduate School: Rhode Island School of Design Graduate School Plans: Yale University Katie Robinette Hometown: Yucaipa, CA Undergraduate School: University of California, Santa Barbara Graduate School Plans: Tulane University Ghazala Saleem Karachi, Pakistan Undergraduate School: Missouri Western State University Graduate School Plans: Columbia University Nermina Sljivo Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sarajevo Undergraduate School: John Cabot University Graduate School Plans: Johns Hopkins University Mark Smiley Hometown: Brooklyn, NY Undergraduate School: Bernard M. Baruch College Graduate School Plans: University of Pittsburgh Noah Smith Hometown: Hood River, OR Undergraduate School: University of Oregon Graduate School Plans: University of California, Berkeley Tiffany Tajiri Hometown: El Paso, TX Undergraduate School: The University of Texas at El Paso Graduate School Plans: Georgia School of Professional Psychology Chat Travieso Hometown: Miami, FL Undergraduate School: Maryland Institute College of Art Graduate School Plans: Yale University Helen Tsai Hometown: Houston, TX Undergraduate School : Massachusetts Institute of Technology Graduate School Plans: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Quyen Vo Hometown: Oakland , CA Undergraduate School: Yale University Graduate School Plans: University of Cambridge
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