Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship
Lora Pearlman, a Johns Hopkins University senior from Carbondale, Ill., has been selected as one of the first 50 Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholars, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation announced today.
The scholars, ages 19 to 50, receive up to $50,000 a year for up to six years to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field at an accredited university. Pearlman will receive a degree in biology later this month and has not yet decided where she will further her studies. She is one of seven Johns Hopkins University students chosen for this inaugural award.
Growing in a close-knit community with parents who each hold three degrees up, Pearlman credits her family with instilling values such as education and compassion. "As a physician's daughter, I watched my father heal and help children and adults who sometimes drove hours to see him, and I saw the joy he took in his work," says Pearlman, 21. "I believe his enthusiasm was contagious."
As a volunteer in the Children's Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Pearlman sees "children come into the playroom cranky, mistrustful and with their eyes swollen from brain surgery." But after spending time with caring people, the children are transformed with energy levels soaring. "They play harder, eat more, and will likely heal faster," Pearlman says.
She remembers one little boy with swollen eyes entering the hospital playroom. "Together we painted a Halloween picture, ate pepperoni pizza, and picked our Halloween stickers to wear," Pearlman says. "I was able to help the boy feel better, to forget his pain, the numbers on his IV, and focus on something as simple as a jack-o-lantern stencil. That feeling of elation, of making a difference, is the reason many of us choose to enter the health care profession."
Pearlman has been active in Student Affiliates for the American Chemical Society, showing Baltimore's inner-city students that "science is not just reading a textbook." Through presentations on "making slime to show chemical reactions" or "freezing food in liquid nitrogen," she gets kids excited about learning so they will continue their education beyond high school.
Pearlman is a member of both the Phi Beta Kappa and the Golden Key honor societies. She was also a Pfizer Summer Research Fellow and a Howard Hughes Summer Research Fellow. She also tutored students in Biology and Chemistry and is a member of the Student Affiliates for American Chemical Society.
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation identifies young people nationwide who have shown unique overall excellence, both in academic endeavors and in extracurricular activities. The purpose of the foundation is to reward young men and women for unusual intelligence, application, deportment, and character. The first class of recipients reflects a wide diversity of interests, all aiming to be the best in their fields.
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private, independent foundation established by its namesake to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential. Cooke was a businessman, sportsman, and philanthropist who owned the Toronto Maple Leaf baseball club, the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team, and the Washington Redskins football team. He also owned the Chrysler Building in New York City, newspapers, magazines, radio stations, and cable television stations. When Cooke died in 1997, he left most of his fortune to the foundation, which has more than $500 million in assets.
Go to Headlines@HopkinsHome Page