Brazilian IUP student wins Kent Cooke Foundation award
Published: Friday, April 25, 2003
Updated: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 01:09
Many college students dream of winning a scholarship that will pay for their undergraduate education, but for one IUP student, that dream is a reality.
Juliane Maximo (sophomore, theater) has won a 2003 Jack Kent Cooke Foundation undergraduate scholarship, which will cover tuition, room and board and fees.
Maximo, a native of Recife, Brazil, thought she would have to drop out of college because she did not have enough money to continue her education.
"I feel like this will be a new start, without constant worries about money and whether I'll be able to graduate or not," Maximo said. "Now, more than ever, I believe in myself, knowing that other people were willing to invest in me, and [they] saw in me this potential to accomplish great things."
Maximo thought this semester would be her last at IUP.
She decided to work full time during the summer and the school year in order to raise money to pay for her tuition and living expenses.
"I was definitely not looking forward to that, but I was willing to do everything I could before I gave up and went back home."
Only one candidate may apply for this national scholarship from a college.
Maximo, a member of the Robert E. Cook Honors College, was chosen as IUP's applicant because she best fit the criteria set by the Cooke Foundation, according to Janet Goebel, director of the honors college.
"This is a great thing for Juliane," Goebel said. "She is from Brazil, where her parents' savings have been devastated by inflation. Now she will be able to stay in school."
President Lawrence K. Pettit congratulated Maximo and all who supported her, particularly the honors college.
"The honors college has pulled the university to a new level in undergraduate education and is the most dramatic success story IUP has experienced, at least during my 11 years."
Michael Hood, dean of the College of Fine Arts, said he was particularly gratified to see a theater major so honored.
"Julianne's selection speaks volumes to her quality as a student and to IUP's ongoing and confirmed academic strength," Hood said.
The application required recommendations, an essay, transcripts and financial aid verification.
Maximo said the toughest part of the application was being able to come across as herself in the essay.
"I had to often fight the urge to polish things up too much and to write about things that I really could not relate to," Maximo said.
She wrote so many drafts of the application that she dedicated a drawer in her house to storing them.
Catherine McClenahan, of the English department, worked on the essay with Maximo and said she got discouraged during the revision process, but that anyone who is competing for a national scholarship would feel the same way.
"She needed the details and evidence to back up what was coming from her heart," McClenahan said.
Maximo said she worked on the scholarship application during most of her spare time.
"I spent winter break in the library working on it," Maximo said. "I even had graduate students come up to me asking how my dissertation was going!"
Maximo, as well as her family and friends, is relieved that the financial burden of college has been lifted.
"Now I look forward to my next two years of school. This is the best thing that could have happened to me at this point in my life."
In the spring of 2003, the foundation awards up to 60 scholarships for use beginning in the fall 2003 term for the 2003-04 academic year.
Maximo is IUP's first winner. To be eligible, students must be enrolled at an accredited four-year college in the United States, be a junior in the fall of 2003 and have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or higher.