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Jairus Cook ’22 Named as a UNC-Charlotte Levine Scholar
Jairus Cook

Jairus Cook ’22 has been announced as one of 20 Levine Scholars for the incoming Class of 2026 at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

The Levine Scholars Program provides students with a four-year, full-tuition scholarship and programming to give them “the tools, resources and community they need to prepare for lives of visionary leadership and positive social impact.” Scholars also enjoy summer enrichment experiences designed to align their programs of study and out-of-class activities with their strengths and values, with an emphasis on putting ideas into practice in a range of environments.

Jairus has distinguished himself through his passion for STEM and entrepreneurship, serving as president of the local chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, Jr. and digging into calculus, physics, engineering, robotics and entrepreneurship in his coursework in the Upper School. He has also been very involved in community service and in the leadership of My Brother’s Keeper, an Upper School affinity group. He said his goal is to be “an engineer and an entrepreneur inventing and selling products that will improve people’s quality of life.” 

Jairus said he applied for the scholarship program because of the “opportunities that the program sets in place beyond financial and academic support. The Levine Scholars Program has a civic engagement project, a pre-professional internship and an international experience already scheduled during the summers between my academic years. Having these crucial experiences as requirements of the program will provide me with a combination of rigorous education and experiences that will set me apart from my peers as I look to enter the workforce,” he said.

The scholarship is highly competitive, and students must be nominated by their high school counselors in order to apply. Jairus said the application process “felt a bit strenuous at times, especially when answering hard-hitting questions during interviews.”

Jairus’s college counselor, Lia Prugh, helped him prepare for the rigors of the finalist interviews, bringing in two board members, Laura Helton Kalorin ’92 and Mary Grady Bell ’14, to conduct mock interviews. She said she “can’t wait to see his impact on the Charlotte community.”

“Jairus is a sincere, thoughtful and compassionate young man. He is a leader inside and outside of the classroom because of his kind heart and his incredible work ethic,” she added. “We are so proud of all that he has contributed to the Ravenscroft community. He has excelled at Ravenscroft because of his true passion for learning and leading others.” 

“I am grateful to God for receiving this scholarship. It will enable me to focus on my academics without having the financial burden of college, while also continuing to develop my leadership skills,” Jairus said. “The scholarship also provides the opportunity for mentorship with partners and alumni of the Levine Scholars Program who will help me achieve my goals by advising me on how to strategically take advantage of the many opportunities as a Levine Scholar.”

Congratulations, Jairus!