April 19, 2018
By Colin Hope, Cypress Woods HS
April 19, 2018—Cypress Woods High School senior Courtney Reid was recently among 106 students selected from a pool of more than 5,000 applicants across the nation who will be awarded the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship, which rewards excellence of high-achieving high school seniors in financial need. The scholarship award is up to $40,000 per year for undergraduate studies of the award winner’s choice.
The application wasn’t easy, Reid said, as it required several essays in addition to two teacher recommendation letters. Other sections included her family’s financial information.
In addition to the monetary award, Reid and other recipients will receive educational advising from foundation personnel to guide them in transitioning to college and preparing for their careers.
Since 2000, the Cooke Foundation has awarded more than $175 million in scholarships from eighth-grade students to those in graduate school.
Reid got her foot in the door by first being a part of the foundation’s high school scholarship program. The program helped cover the cost for Reid’s Advanced Placement exams, both the ACT and SAT tests and other expenses throughout high school.
“We were already affiliated with the organization,” Reid said. “To get the high school scholarship, I had to submit former writings and I had to do a phone interview. There was a 1.1 percent acceptance rate for the high school scholarship.”
But Reid earning the scholarship opened doors for resources to help her succeed at Cypress Woods.
“They got me WiFi, a printer and a laptop,” she said. “I didn’t have anything like that at my house before. I didn’t even have a computer. So, they have helped a lot.”
The foundation also helped fund her participation in extracurricular activities and summer functions. She attended photography and engineering classes at Yale University, a writing intensive session in California, and a heart surgery internship at Stanford University.
“And this last summer, I went to Spain because they provided one abroad trip,” Reid said.
Moving forward, the foundation will continue to provide Reid assistance outside the classroom, providing opportunities for internships and other study abroad options. Graduate school funding is also available.
Reid was accepted to the University of Notre Dame, where she plans to take the pre-med track with her own personal twist.
“It’s called the College of Arts and Letters,” Reid said. “Through that, I’m going to be studying pre-med courses like biology, but I’m going to be majoring in Spanish. Basically through their program, you can take pre-med classes but still major in an art. I’m in Spanish and I want to learn it fluently, and so that’s what I’ve decided to do.”