“Being a JKCF Scholar is undoubtedly my proudest achievement. After these years of support, inspiration, and endless opportunities, I have recognized the greatness of the Young Scholar community and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. Being a part of this organization has changed my life in that it helped me realize my passion for architecture and that I have learned to dream BIG!”
College Scholarship Recipient
Highlights of Young Scholar Experience: It was Kalin Ngo’s grammar school art teacher who realized Kalin loved to draw, and it was that same teacher that told her family to look into pursuing the Young Scholars program for her. “Receiving placement as a scholar was one of the most important dates of my life,” Kalin said. During her years involved in the program, Kalin took part in a rudiments of architecture program at the University of Illinois, studied the Chinese language through Concordia Villages, spent a month doing architectural sketching at the Savannah College of Art and Design, and enrolled in the Ohio State University’s Engineering Summer Honors Institute.
Profile: Kalin’s LinkedIn page says it all: “Hardworking and motivated student looking to pursue a career in architecture. Interested in world issues and helping the global community. Loves design, art, and innovation. Also loves animals, and would like to own many, many cats one day.” But there is more to Kalin, much more. The LinkedIn site doesn’t discuss her many honors and near perfect Grade Point Average at Westlake High School in her native Ohio. Nor does it touch on her love for helping others in need, especially as a volunteer at a local hospital or her many, many, many awards for design, drawing and science. When the Foundation asked Kalin how and why she has been so successful, she said: “I am here because of the unrelenting motivation from my family, teachers, and the Foundation. With their backing, I was able to keep my goals within sight, and the advice I received helped me make the best decisions. I am here also because of my enthusiasm and passion towards my goal to study architecture, and my competitive spirit that drives me to be successful.”
Inspiration: The teacher who was most influential not only academically, but also personally, to Kalin was her tech education instructor, Kyle Kutz. “Mr. Kutz has supported me throughout my high school career, and has been most important in my career aspirations. Without his constant motivation, I would not be as driven and excited to pursue my goals as I am today.”
Aspiration: Kalin’s goal to be an architect did not come overnight. “My dream was shaped over 18 years of exploration and growth and has had many forms,” she said. The first form was illustration, when Kalin discovered her love for art in elementary school. That morphed into engineering when she recognized her aptitude in science and mathematics during middle school. “Finally, it became Architecture, which is the finest balance between my interests. My high school education further focused my interest in architecture through regional competition. After seeing what I could create through the technology and design of architecture, I knew I wanted to become an architect.”
Making a Difference: Kalin was a fixture as a volunteer at a local hospital. She did everything from delivering meals, to typing, to bringing tissue samples to the lab, and also helped to discharge patients. Recently she wheeled a new mother holding her baby out to the waiting husband. As the woman said goodbye, she asked Kalin if she knew why hospital volunteers aren’t paid. Kalin confessed she didn’t know, and the new mother replied: “It’s because you are priceless.” After that encounter, Kalin said she understood that it wasn’t the volunteers that are priceless, “but rather the chance to help others that is truly invaluable.”
Accolades: Kalin was the “Big Build Contest” grand prize winner sponsored by Design Squad Nation. She also was awarded “Best in Show – Biotechnology” by the Ohio Technology and Engineering Educators Association at that group’s state conference. She received many other academic and design awards during her high school years.
Interesting Fact: Kalin’s last name is pronounced "No." and she said she has heard “every possible joke related to my last name from every teacher ever!”
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