Chionque Mines came to the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation as a Cooke Young Scholar in 2006 from a KIPP middle school in North Philadelphia. She distinguished herself as a smart, hard-working, and talented student. With an absent mother and father, she was raised by her grandmother until an accident resulted in her being put in the care of a young aunt raising five other children.
Despite a tumultuous home life and growing up in a violence- and drug-stricken neighborhood, she pursued rigorous courses in three different high schools in two different states, maintained a near prefect GPA at each, and was an active member in her school communities, even starting a club at her high school in Florida called Voice in which every student’s voice could be heard on controversial issues.
The eldest of seven children, Chionque learned early in life about the importance of hard work and respect for others. Growing up, she tried to embody these tenets for herself and serve as a role model for her siblings. During her high school summers as a Young Scholar, Chionque developed her passion for helping others through two enrollments in CivicWeek, the Foundation’s service learning program. She also attended Explo courses at Yale and an international medical program at the St. George’s University in Grenada.
Chionque continues to pursue her interest in the health services field and today is a Cooke College Scholar majoring in medical sociology and minoring in women, gender and sexuality studies at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. She has thrived at Goucher in and out of the classroom, not only as a strong student, but also as a leader in the college’s community. Prior to studying abroad in Queensland, Australia, her junior year, Chionque served as the president of the Black Student Union and as a community assistant supporting resident advisors to help new students get better acquainted with Goucher College and the resources it has to offer. She was recognized for her leadership contributions with an honorable mention for the Elizabeth Nuss Emerging Leader Award. She is also involved with Baltimore Collegetown LeaderShape, which cultivates the talents and energies of service-minded students from 12 college campuses to make Baltimore a stronger region. Chionque plans to enroll in graduate studies in nursing and public health after college graduation this spring.
Chionque introduced President Barack Obama at the White House Summit on College Opportunity on December 4, 2014. You can read her full remarks here and watch the video of her introduction and President Obama’s speech below.