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Student with vision to help heal world transfers into ASU with prestigious scholarship


Jacob Sorenson

Jacob Sorenson. Photo by Nicole Greason/Barrett Honors College

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August 25, 2016

Jacob Sorenson’s resume reads like that of a seasoned professional.

He has done research on the correlation between the use of prenatal supplements and the occurrence of autism.

He worked with schools in the Mesa Unified School District to create math activities for elementary-age special-needs students.

He started the Autism Lego Club of the East Valley, a group of families with autistic children that meets monthly. Children in the group play with Legos, an activity that helps build coordination and fine motor skills.

He went on a two-year mission to Mozambique where he observed the work of health-care providers in a strapped medical system where medication and supplies are in short supply. For six weeks during the summer of 2016 he went to Botswana to work with the Baylor College of Medicine Pediatric AIDS Initiative, learning how medication helps affected people survive.

He did all of this as a student at Mesa Community College. This fall, he has transferred into Arizona State University as a junior majoring in applied biological sciences at the Polytechnic campus and a student in Barrett, The Honors College.

Sorenson’s studies at ASU will be supported by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. He is one of 75 outstanding community college students from 21 states to receive the scholarship this year. The Cooke Foundation received more than 2,300 applications for this year’s scholarship from 48 states and the District of Columbia.

Other Arizonans who were awarded the scholarship this year are:

  • Derek Fermaint, a transfer student from Mesa Community College who is now attending ASU and Barrett, The Honors College.
  • Jason Price, a student from Glendale Community College who now attends classes on ASU's West campus.
  • Rodrigo Salcido, a Pima Community College graduate, who transferred into Baylor University.

The scholarship is worth up to $40,000 annually and will fund costs not covered by other forms of financial aid, stipends for internships, study abroad, and opportunities to network with other Cooke Scholars and alumni. In addition, after earning a bachelor’s degree, Sorenson will be eligible to apply for a scholarship for graduate school worth up to $50,000 annually for up to four years.

“To be one of 75 to be awarded the Cooke scholarship is an incredible feeling. That people want to invest in you and your vision is amazing,” Soren said.

Sorenson said his vision for the future includes completing his undergraduate degree and then attending medical school. He envisions himself providing medical care to underprivileged populations.

“I want to help out in significant ways and help heal the world.”

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