The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation recently announced that Mekyla B. ’22 would be awarded the Cooke College Scholarship, and will receive up to $55,000 annually to cover costs associated with her undergraduate education.

The Cooke College Scholarship was founded to help high-achieving students who have financial need earn a college degree. In addition to receiving financial support for their education, scholarship winners also receive ongoing academic coaching, graduate school or career advising, opportunities for internships and study abroad programs, and access to the network of other Cooke Scholarship winners—past and present. Scholars are also given the opportunity to access funding for graduate school if they choose to pursue a higher degree after college.

To apply for the scholarship, Mekyla submitted an application via the Common App, along with two recommendation letters from her teachers. She was one of 100 Scholars chosen this year, from an applicant pool that included students from all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Marianas, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. Scholars were selected based on their academic aptitude, leadership abilities, demonstration of work ethic, and financial need.

As a Pirate, Mekyla has regularly demonstrated her outstanding academic ability and showed a penchant for creativity and the arts. Mekyla has been heavily involved in theater tech, and is also a songwriter who loves performing her own work. She explains, “For a majority of high school, I did theater tech and enjoyed learning how productions work. When I go to college, I still plan on making music, performing, and practicing skills that I learned in the theater, implementing them in everyday life.”

Before being named a Cooke College Scholar, Mekyla spent 5 years participating in the Cooke Young Scholars Program. This program is a pre-college scholarship program for high-achieving 7th grade students, which provides participants with financial support for school, academic coaching, college advising, access to summer programs, internship opportunities, and a community of fellow Young Scholars.

When describing her experience as a Cooke Scholarship winner, Mekyla expresses immense gratitude for the scholarship program—especially for the cohort of fellow scholars the Young Scholars Program connected her with. She is also excited about the community she will meet and be able to seek support from as a College Scholar. She explains, “I am thankful that this learning experience has not been and will not be a one-man-show, and that I will continue to have the support I need (and be able to give support when needed), whenever I speak to either my college advisor or my peers.”

Next year, Mekyla will either attend SJSU or Woodbury University where she plans to pursue a BFA in Graphic Design.