Youth Futures Student Wins Gladys Cook Scholarship
IRC Atlanta is proud to celebrate the success of Makiya, a senior at Clarkston High School and IRC Youth Futures participant, who has been awarded with the Gladys Cook Scholarship to attend college in the fall. Makiya, a refugee from Ethiopia, joined a select group of outstanding scholars from DeKalb County schools at the awards ceremony at Tucker High School where they received $1000 each to further their studies.
Makiya, who hopes to study nursing or pharmacy at Georgia Perimeter College, has been attending the IRC’s Youth Futures academic support and mentoring program for one year. In order to qualify for the scholarship she joined the Parent, Teacher, Student Association, collected recommendations from teachers and school officials, and wrote four essays. Makiya wrote about her mother – who still lives in Ethiopia with her two younger siblings – as her greatest influence, and cited resettlement in the United States and subsequent opportunity to study and pursue her dreams as her greatest achievement.
Photo by Duncan de la Feld
In addition to her schoolwork, Makiya plays on Clarkston High’s women’s soccer team and serves as Secretary of the Muslim Student Association (MSA). This year the MSA organized a community coat drive that Makiya says was very successful. She loves helping people, particularly children and the elderly, which she says is her motivation for pursing nursing after high school. She’s also working on her senior project, which will focus on pharmacy – her second career choice – as she says many of her classmates will write theirs on nursing and she prefers the challenge of a harder subject.
Gladys Cook Scholarships, named for DeKalb County PTA President from 1962-64 Gladys Cook, have been awarded to DeKalb County students for fifty years. The scholarship amount varies every year, but since its inception the Scholarship Committee has awarded well more than $300,000 to students. At this year’s anniversary ceremony Gladys Cook, who is 92 years old, was in attendance to congratulate the recipients and present them each with a medal to commemorate their accomplishment.