JKCF Recognizes 3 Scholars for Outstanding Achievements in Public Service

LANSDOWNE, VA – In recognition of extraordinary achievements in their communities, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation awards Shrochis Karki and Matthew Loftus the 2014 Matthew J. Quinn Prize and Sarah Wood the Matthew J. Quinn Youth Leadership Award. Shrochis Karki and Matthew Loftus will receive $10,000 each, and Sarah Wood will receive $2,500.

The award, which honors the Foundation’s founding executive director, Dr. Matthew J. Quinn, is given to Scholars who have made an extraordinary achievement in the arts, academics, or public service and who exhibit the traits that have marked Dr. Quinn’s life and career: concern for others, love of learning, integrity, and leadership.

“This year’s Quinn awardees are innovative leaders, who are making significant contributions to their own or other communities, “said Vice President of Programs Emily Froimson. “We are proud to recognize each one and their accomplishments.”

The Matthew J. Quinn Prize is awarded to Jack Kent Cooke Scholars or alumni from the Foundation’s higher education programs, and the Matthew J. Quinn Youth Leadership Award is given to current Jack Kent Cooke Young Scholars.

The following is a brief description of the awardees’ accomplishments and contributions to their communities.

Matthew J. Quinn Prize winner – Shrochis Karki is a 2009 Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholar who will graduate from the University of Oxford in June 2014 with a Ph.D. in International Development. Shrochis is the founder and leader of the Samaanta Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive educational fellowships to meritorious needy students from rural communities in Nepal. The ten students supported in the organization’s first two years have achieved excellent results in national and international arenas.

Matthew J. Quinn Prize winner – Matthew Loftus is a 2004 Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholar, 2007 Graduate Scholar, and graduate of the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine. Matthew and his family moved into a struggling neighborhood in West Baltimore, Maryland, to be part of a church serving the community. Matthew worked with the church’s health board to establish Healing Connections, a community-based mental health resource hub that holistically engages members of the community with mental health needs who have no access to care and develops local leaders to champion mental health issues.

Matthew J. Quinn Youth Leadership Award winner – Sarah Wood, a Jack Kent Cooke Young Scholar, will graduate in June 2014 from the Madeira School in McLean, Virginia, and will enroll at New York University in the fall. She spent her senior year studying abroad in Morocco through the Center for Language & Culture as part of the prestigious National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) Scholarship Program, granted by the U.S. Department of State. While in Morocco, Sarah organized its first and only Girl Scout troop at a marginalized women’s center in order to provide information to and create a support network for young girls who live in a society that sometimes subjugates them.


The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private, independent foundation dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Because we believe that high-potential, low-income students will excel educationally when given the resources to develop their talents, the Foundation supports exceptional students from elementary school to graduate school through scholarships, grants, direct service, and knowledge creation and dissemination. Founded in 2000 by the estate of Jack Kent Cooke, the Foundation has awarded $120 million for over 2,000 scholarships and $76 million in grants to organizations that support our mission. www.jkcf.org