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Cooley Scholarship

Cooley girls pose for a group photo at their Halloween party

Cooley girls pose for a group photo at their Halloween party

By Lauren Babcock

The Chantell Cooley Leadership Scholarship for Women was created by Chantell Cooley to guide scholarship recipients to be leaders and to take control of their life. In it’s second year though, things are changing.

According to the Waldorf University website, Chantell Cooley, a member of the Board of Trustees for Waldorf University, is a pioneer in education and an advocate for developing female leaders. An energetic author and speaker, Cooley has strong roots in her Christian faith and has a special passion for developing leadership skills in youth. In fact, she has spent more than 10 years nurturing and guiding young adults.

Cooley takes time out of her busy schedule to meet with the Cooley Girls once a month to mentor the girls. When they meet, they talk about Cooley’s life and how she went through struggles and how she made it through hard times. She teaches the girls to learn from her hard times and leadership skills. A lot of the girls look up to Cooley as a role model.

The description on Chantell Cooley’s website states that “The Chantell Cooley Leadership Scholarship for Women provides financial assistance to young women seeking a residential degree at Waldorf University. These full tuition scholarships will be awarded to women based on their leadership potential and membership in specific, co-curricular campus organizations.”

Senior Darien Walsh has been a part of the Cooley Scholarship program since last fall. She was originally attracted to Waldorf because of the focus on leadership the scholarship has. The scholarship is for young women leaders to expand their leadership skills within their affinities and learn what it’s like to lead themselves and lead others in a way that will make them more successful. Walsh likes the Cooley Scholarship because it teaches her how to be successful in the workplace along with natural networking and the support she receives from the other Cooley Girls.

The Cooley Scholarship is a very hands-on scholarship. “It’s kind of like having another class,” Walsh said, “we meet every week, have a group discussion and we’re starting to get homework.” As far as a non-athletic scholarship goes, there are a lot of expectations.

This year, some changes have been put in place. There are quite a few more girls than last year. They aren’t doing small groups like they did last year, instead, they’re sticking to mainly big group meetings. According to Walsh, there are more plans for this year. The program seems like it’s been more thought out. Another Cooley girl who wishes to stay anonymous said, “we were sort of like guinea pigs last year. They were trying things out to kind of get a feel for what this could be.”

Both Cooley girls agreed that the changes are mostly good but they’re somewhat unsure what The Cooley scholarship could end up being. It will be interesting to see what happens and how the scholarship grows in the future.