Cooke Scholar Min Zhong Profiled in Washington Post


How one student went from poverty to an elite college

Min Zhong, 19, arrived in the U.S. as a 9-year-old who spoke little English. Her parents struggled to make ends meet. And while her classmates attended after-school activities, Zhong grew up caring for two younger brothers while her parents put in long hours at work. She excelled in school nonetheless.

By eighth grade, Zhong’s academic promise was recognized when she was accepted as a Jack Kent Cooke Young Scholar, a wrap-around program that provides a host of assistance, including scholarships to private schools, counseling and opportunities for summer enrichment.

Last month, Zhong was selected to receive the foundation’s college scholarship, an award that will allow her to attend Swarthmore in Pennsylvania for free. Nationwide, the foundation, named for the late owner of the Washington Redskins, chose 94 students for its scholarships, which will pay up to $40,000 a year in tuition. Some, like Zhong, have been long-time beneficiaries of the foundation.

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