From Inspired to an Inspiration: Cooke Scholar Francesca Raoelison
When Francesca Raoelison was a student at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), the cost of attending a four-year university at times seemed out of reach. She recalled being inspired by Derrick Arthur-Cudjoe, a former NOVA student who became a Cooke Scholar attending Georgetown University. Now a Cooke Scholar herself, she has begun her studies in entrepreneurship and psychology at Brown University with the help of the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, and is hoping to be an agent of positive change.
Her fields of study were influenced by her childhood experiences and based on her need to better understand herself. Her work the past two years as a peer educator at NOVA has also inspired her as she has been able to impact more than a thousand students through classroom visits, workshops, and interactive experiences. Someday she hopes to build her own organization that can provide similar types of educational resources to those in need.
Like all of our Cooke Transfer Scholars Francesca will receive up to $40,000 per year for up to three years of study to complete her bachelor’s degree, along with opportunities for internships, study abroad, and graduate school funding. She also talked about the priceless bonds and connections offered in the thriving community of Cooke Scholars.
“To consider myself part of this amazing group is so humbling,” she said. “Being surrounded by the brightest people in the nation, including the believers, the thinkers, the dreamers and the doers is mind blowing. They are shaking the status quo for a better tomorrow.”
Now, just like Derrick once inspired her, Francesca is hoping to inspire the next group of potential applicants to our scholarships.
“The Cooke Foundation allowed me reach what I thought was impossible,” she said. “Chase your dreams and see how far you can go by seizing this opportunity!”