Goals That Give Back: Cooke Scholar AJ Varner
The first time AJ Varner scored a soccer goal, it was an amazing back kick. The only problem was it was into his own goal and helped the other team clinch the victory. He jokes that this goal was his first act of serving others, but his goals for the future will help others in a much more substantial way. AJ plans on being neurosurgeon one day, and now, with the help of the Cooke College Scholarship Program, he is studying hard at the University of Texas to make those plans a reality.
AJ has had a lifelong interest in the brain – the way that it functions and controls our bodies has always intrigued him. In the future his goals are to provide pioneering solutions for neurological disorders, and he particularly wants to help the underserved around the world. He’s passionate about serving others with his gifts and thinks that saving lives is one of the best ways he could possibly serve people.
“My selection has been educationally breathtaking,” he says of how being a Cooke Scholar changed his life. “I have been inspired and empowered to learn all that I can. I have been introduced to academic possibilities that I previously had no idea even existed and in doing so enriched my understanding of a purpose driven life.”
Like all of our Cooke College Scholars, AJ will receive up to $40,000 per year to complete his bachelor’s degree, along with opportunities for internships, study abroad, and graduate school funding. He also is part of the thriving community of Cooke Scholars.
“Being a part of the community of Cooke Scholars is simply amazing,” he said. “I know people who are writing books, and people who are making music, and people doing cutting edge research. In the Cooke community everyone is doing something incredible, and we all push each other to Think Big, Work Hard, and Achieve!”
There’s still time, high school seniors – apply today!