May 19, 2004 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Community Chest

Over the course of his 84-year life, Jack Kent Cooke worked his way up from door-to-door encyclopedia salesman to become one of the world’s best-known professional-sports and media moguls. The late owner of the Washington Redskins football team once compared his life to an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, only better.

Were he alive today, Mr. Cooke probably would have admired the peculiar educational journeys of students such as Tamara D. Eskue, 21, a recipient of a newly established scholarship from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

Ms. Eskue is one of 27 community college students who will receive scholarships worth up to $30,000 a year from the Lansdowne, Va., foundation to continue their studies at four-year colleges.

Her trek toward college was indirect yet purposeful. A native of Ravenna, Texas, Ms. Eskue once competed in a rodeo (in women’s barrel- riding) while attending Grayson County College in nearby Denison, earning a 3.87 grade point average.

At first, she dreamed of becoming a nurse, until a cardiologist she knew advised her to think about going to medical school instead. After finishing at Grayson, she now plans to major in biology at Austin College, in Sherman, Texas, with the help of Cooke Foundation funding.

This is the first year the foundation has devoted scholarships exclusively to students at two-year schools; previously it awarded money to undergraduates in both two-year and four-year institutions. The 27 foundation awards, announced May 3, are worth a total of $1.4 million. Cooke Foundation officials say their goal is to encourage four-year colleges to give more serious consideration to students from two-year colleges—and to encourage other private institutions to help those students.

“At the top of community colleges, there are students with tremendous ability,” said Joshua S. Wyner, the chief program officer for the foundation. “We believe we can help those students.”

Plenty of those students are ready to make the jump to four-year schools, said Ms. Eskue, who knows something about life transitions.

“It takes more guts to be a bull-rider,” said Ms. Eskue, who, in her day as a rodeo participant, generally stuck to quarter horses. “But it takes a lot of strength and determination to be a student.”

—Sean Cavanagh

A version of this article appeared in the May 19, 2004 edition of Education Week


Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Nearly a Million Kids Vaccinated in Week 1, White House Says
Experts say there are signs that it will be difficult to sustain the initial momentum.
4 min read
Leo Hahn, 11, gets the first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Last week, U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to Pfizer's kid-size COVID-19 shot, a milestone that opened a major expansion of the nation's vaccination campaign to children as young as 5. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Education How Schools Are Getting Kids the COVID Shot, and Why Some Aren’t
Some district leaders say offering vaccine clinics, with the involvement of trusted school staff, is key to helping overcome hesitancy.
5 min read
A girl walks outside of a mobile vaccine unit after getting the first dose of her COVID-19 vaccine, outside P.S. 277, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
Education Biden Administration Urges Schools to Provide COVID-19 Shots, Information for Kids
The Biden administration is encouraging local school districts to host vaccine clinics for kids and information on benefits of the shots.
2 min read
President Joe Biden, and first lady Jill Biden walk to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Biden is spending the weekend at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)