Cooke Scholar Jared Bitz Profiled in Argus Leader


Foundation delivers Lincoln High grad to Stanford’s door

Businessmen from China and Sioux Falls are video conferencing, conversing in their native tongues but understanding each other in real time though neither speaks the other’s language.

How is this possible?

It isn’t entirely, not yet — at least up-to-the-moment real time. But when that day comes, a 2015 Lincoln High School graduate from Sioux Falls likes to think he can play a role in conjuring that technological wizardry.

At least that’s Jared Bitz’s plan as he heads off to Stanford University this fall for a future he envisions in Silicon Valley as an artificial intelligence researcher.

It’s a fascinating story, this tale of the seventh-grade computer geek at Patrick Henry Middle School who at age 12 meets a Virginia-based philanthropy and, with its help, is transformed six years later into Stanford’s idea of the “right stuff.”

Since it was founded in 2000, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation based in Lansdowne, Va., has been scouring the country looking for the lives of low-income, high-performing students still in middle school that it can impact.

Read more about Cooke Scholar Jared Bitz on Argus Leader