Jaden: Our Jack Kent Cooke Scholar

We’re always excited to boast about the achievements of our students! This month, we’re sharing the news about Jaden, our 8th grader at the Excellence Boys Charter School in Brooklyn.

Jaden – who is at our Brooklyn middle school site - just received word that he has been accepted as a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholar. He’s one of only 45 students from across the country to recently earn acceptance into this program.

“My parents are really proud of me,” Jaden says. “Financially this is really big news; it alleviates the financial pressures with school.”

Through the Young Scholars Program, the Foundation has supported more than 800 high-ability middle and high school students with financial need from across the nation, providing them with individualized educational advising combined with comprehensive financial support from the 8th grade through high school.

As a Young Scholar, Jaden will now receive a personal academic and college counselor; funding for academic and enrichment programs in the summer and during the school year; internship and study abroad opportunities; and educational resources such as books and technology.

"Cooke Foundation Scholars are absolutely brilliant low-income students who have demonstrated exceptional academic ability, extraordinary persistence in overcoming obstacles, selfless service to others and outstanding leadership abilities," Foundation Executive Director Harold O. Levy told BTNY when asked about Jaden. "Our life-changing scholarships have enabled many to go on to great academic and career success, and our scholars have generously given of their time and talents to help others succeed as well.”

The older of two boys, Jaden is 13 years old; his mother works in health care administration; and his father is a radio producer. He’s getting ready to start going through the high school application process (and favors attending an independent day school).

Now in his second full year at BTNY, Jaden credits the nonprofit with helping him to develop new skills, and new friends. “I definitely work a lot harder. Breakthrough New York has gotten me to a place where I don’t think I would have without them. The Breakthrough community is amazing.”

He says is mother is proudly boasting about the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation scholarship, and he believes with this and BTNY by his side, he will be able to pursue his dream of attending college. He now envisions attending MIT and studying computer engineering or computer science.

To the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Jaden says, “I just want to say ‘thank you’ so much for this opportunity because I know how great the stakes are to get in. I think around 2,000 kids apply, and I know that is a really big number, and I say ‘thank you’ for taking the time to look at me in such a positive way to accept me into such an amazing program.”