Sandburg Student Zana Danner Awarded Prestigious Cooke Transfer Scholarship

  Aaron Frey
  Friday, April 26, 2019 11:50 AM
  Campus News

Galesburg, IL

Carl Sandburg College student Zana Danner of Davenport, Iowa, has been awarded a 2019 Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, one of the country’s most prestigious and competitive undergraduate transfer scholarships.

Danner, who will graduate from Sandburg next month, was one of just 61 high-achieving community college students with financial need in the nation to receive the scholarship, which provides up to $40,000 annually for up to three years to complete a bachelor’s degree. It covers a significant share of a student’s educational costs, including tuition, living expenses, books and required fees.

“I was literally on the ground crying because I could not believe I had won,” Danner said. “It takes that financial burden completely off of me, so I can immerse myself into research and internships and things that will help me progress my career even further, and that’s what excites me about school. Having something that can take that off of me, it means the world to me.”

Nearly 1,500 students applied for the this year’s Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. Recipients selected come from 18 different states, have a median household adjusted income of $28,000 and an average grade point average of 3.93.

Danner, a graduate of Sherrard High School, plans to go into pediatric surgery. She has applied to transfer to some of the most prominent universities in the country — including Johns Hopkins, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford and Iowa — and will make a decision later this spring on where to continue her education.

“It means a lot to me to be able to study somewhere among people who are that prestigious and like-minded who want to continue to pursue their dreams, study, work hard and are focused on the same things I am focused on,” Danner said. “I want to go somewhere where I’m not the smartest person in the room. I want to go somewhere where I’m surrounded by other people who are so much more intelligent than me, and I can learn from them and continue to grow.”

Danner and other Cooke Transfer Scholars also will receive educational advising from Jack Kent Cooke Foundation staff to guide them during their transition to a four-year school and to prepare them for their careers. The foundation also provides opportunities for internships, study abroad and graduate school funding in addition to a network of nearly 2,500 other Cooke Scholars and alumni.

This is the latest in a series of awards and scholarships Danner has received during the current academic year. In November, she became the first Sandburg student ever to be named a Student Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, an honor given to the highest-achieving students at colleges and universities throughout the state. And in March, she was one of 50 Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society students in the country to be awarded a $1,500 scholarship as a 2019 Coca-Cola Academic Team Gold Scholar.

Danner is the vice president of Sandburg’s PTK chapter and was elected president of the Student Government Association for 2018-19. She also is on the Leadership Council of TRIO Student Support Services, serves as a tutor and is a member of Women of Character, a campus service organization.

Zana Danner

Zana Danner

Press Contact

Aaron Frey