Program allows high school students to pursue academic interests at UConn

High school seniors now have the opportunity to spend three weeks at UConn next summer because of the Cooke Young Scholars Senior Summit. (File Photo/The Daily Campus

High school seniors now have the opportunity to spend three weeks at UConn next summer because of the Cooke Young Scholars Senior Summit. (File Photo/The Daily Campus

The Cooke Young Scholars Senior Summit, funded by a $300,000 scholarship from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, allows high school seniors to have advanced learning opportunities at the University of Connecticut for three weeks next summer, according to UConn’s Neag School of Education

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private, independent foundation dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial needs said Maria Martineau, associate director of development at the Neag School of Education.

“The Foundation supports exceptional students from elementary school to graduate school through scholarships, grants, direct service and knowledge creation and dissemination,”  Martineau said in an email. “They have historically been great supporters of the Gifted & Talented Program here in the Neag School of Education.”

The Young Scholars Program at UConn allows students to participate in advanced-level research teams in self-selected areas of interest, led by faculty experts from across multiple disciplines in official laboratory settings, according to Natalie Rodriguez Jansorn, director of scholarship programs at the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

“We’ll have over 60 Cooke Young Scholars working with UConn faculty,” Jansorn said in an email. “In addition to class time, lab and research experience, students will also learn about college life and prepare for college success.”

The Foundation decided to make UConn a home for the Young Scholars Program due to Neag’s history of research and success with high-achieving students, as well as the UConn professors who will conduct the labs, to Jansorn said.

“We chose UConn for the Cooke Young Scholars Senior Summit program because of the Renzulli Center’s longstanding record of excellent service to talent development and creative productivity, particularly those who have financial need,” Jansorn said.

The foundation aims to prepare the scholars to get into the nation’s best colleges. With UConn faculty mentoring, Young Scholars will have research at the program’s end that represents their potential, Jansorn said.

“We take the time to get to know individuals, learn about their lives and their passions and then link them up with the appropriate cause, student or program here at the University,” Martineau said. “It’s an amazing job and I feel fortunate to do this work each day.”


Rachel Philipson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at rachel.philipson@uconn.edu.