Fifty Cooke Young Scholars From Around the Country Graduate into Prestigious College Scholarship Program

In 2018, this group of Young Scholars attended their first summer event together. They have now been named 2022 Cooke College Scholars.

Students participating in competitive grant program for high schoolers are awarded up to $55,000 a year for college by the
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation


Lansdowne, VA (February 11, 2022) – The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation announced today that 50 high school seniors participating in the Cooke Young Scholars program have been named Cooke College Scholars for the fall. Through the Cooke College Scholarship Program, the Foundation provides Scholars with up to $55,000 per year for up to four years to complete a bachelor’s degree. Cooke Scholars also have access to academic advising, internships, study abroad, and a thriving community of motivated peers. They will be eligible to apply for the Cooke Graduate Scholarship after completing their bachelor’s degree and could receive up to $150,000 in graduate school funding.

The students named today entered the Cooke Young Scholars Program during their 8th grade year. Together, they have attended summer programs on college campuses and participated in enrichment programs from Athens, Greece to Washington, DC.

Cooke Young Scholars and their families work one-on-one with educational advisers to create an individualized learning plan and maximize their high school experience. Members of this cohort have founded and led organizations, won regional and national academic competitions, published their works, been chosen as captains of teams, and conducted research at the collegiate level.

“It is exciting to see our Young Scholars move on in their academic journeys as they navigated through the complexities of hybrid learning and the hardships of COVID-19,” said Executive Director Seppy Basili. “We remain deeply committed to the continued support of our high-achieving students and look forward to witnessing their accomplishments along the way.”

The Young Scholars Program application is now open and accepting students for the Foundation’s 22nd cohort of exceptional young learners. High-achieving 7th graders have until March 9, 2022 to apply to this five-year pre-college scholarship. Visit the Foundation’s website to view eligibility requirements and begin the application.

The Cooke Young Scholars Program serves as a pathway to the Foundation’s prestigious College Scholarship; that application is open to high school seniors each fall. Recently, the Foundation announced that 411 high school seniors were selected as Cooke College Scholar Semifinalists from more than 5,300 applicants nationwide. Cooke College Scholar finalists will be selected in April for the cohort of 2022. 

The names of the Cooke College Scholars from the Young Scholars Program can be found below, listed along with the states and high schools they represent.


Mekyla Basconcillo – Stevenson School
Genesis Guzman – Waverly School
Cionnie Pineda – Harvard-Westlake School
Tália Rangel – Thacher School
Fiona Tan – The Nueva School
Gigi Truong – Stanford University Online High School
Alina Vo – James Lick High School


Laelim Jung – Fountain Valley School

District of Columbia

Mikaela Johnson – School Without Walls
Charles Minnis – Benjamin Banneker Academic High School


Isaiah Asbed – Canterbury School
Makenna Jenkins – Lehigh Senior High School
Joanne Lioe – Saint Petersburg Senior High School
Amid Louis – William H. Turner Technology & Arts High School
Cameron Martin – Alexander W Dreyfoos School Of The Arts
Nathalia Martinez – Lely High School
Gloria Ogbekhilu – Land O’ Lakes High School


Elijah Herring – Valdosta High School
Stella Kwon – Brookwood High School
Avia Solomon – Douglas County High School


Dylan Chhay – Whitney M. Young Magnet High School
Ezzat Suhaime Suhaime – Lake Forest Academy


Katherine Beeson – The Culver Academies


Mary Rose Beeken – Lawrenceville School
Paige Lauren Kight – Paducah Tilghman High School


Jeremy Nelson – Ouachita Parish High School


Sunning David – Salem High School
Karol Querido – Milton Academy


Liam Oliva – Phillips Exeter Academy


Alyssa Garciano – Truman High School
Xine Straka – Thomas Jefferson School

North Carolina

Althea Bennett – North Buncombe High School


Rose Chen – Phillips Exeter Academy

New Jersey

Sheikh Mahmud – Egg Harbor Township High School

New York

Thays Garcia – High School of American Studies
Camila Perez – Bard High School Early College II


Colin Schillinger – Saint Ignatius High School


Katherine Lee – Conestoga High School

South Dakota

Mercedes Shangreaux – Choate Rosemary Hall
Lydia Whirlwind Soldier – Washington High School


Aly Muhammad Bijani – Saint Pius X High School
Zachary Inglis – Phillips Exeter Academy
Karen Mendoza – Awty International School
Mali Rauch – Phillips Exeter Academy
Roberto Salinas – Texas Academy of International & STEM Studies
Hawk Veluz – Heritage High School
Sarah Wang – Phillips Academy


Adia Colvin – Cape Henry Collegiate School


Jose Blancarte Ramirez – Oregon Episcopal School

An additional Cooke Scholar opted not to be named in the press release.


The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Since 2000, the Foundation has awarded over $230 million in scholarships to nearly 3,000 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive educational advising and other support services. The Foundation has also provided $120 million in grants to organizations that serve such students.

Media Contact: Julia Florence, (571) 799-8067,