A Voice for the Voiceless: Cooke Scholar Jenny Ha

Cooke Scholar Jenny Ha

As a first-generation student, Jenny Ha said her path to college was always unclear. Now, with the help of the Cooke College Scholarship Program, she is studying public policy and sociology at University of Southern California with the hopes of working as an advocate for disenfranchised communities and helping other students like her.

She had the opportunity represent these students and have her voice heard when she was chosen to serve on the inaugural student advisory board for the Better Make Room campaign, which is part of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative.  No doubt inspired by this and her own experiences, Jenny is passionate about education reform and achieving equity on a national level.

“Being a first-generation student, I struggled to find adequate resources that others of higher economic status commonly had to get me where I am today,” she said. “I believe that education is the great equalizer which enables all young people to reach their full potential and change the future.”

Cooke Scholars at Scholars Weekend 2018

Jenny will receive up to $40,000 per year to complete her bachelor’s degree, along with opportunities for internships, study abroad, and graduate school funding. She also has been welcomed into the thriving community of Cooke Scholars.

“I feel empowered and relieved,” she says of her experience with her fellow Cooke Scholars “I am no longer alone and can do anything I put my mind to. I gained not only a professional network but also countless lifelong friendships that I will never forget. I am surrounded by the most inspiring, compassionate, and selfless people that I could ever meet. It’s incredible.”

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Cooke Scholars at Scholars Weekend 2018