Lasting Impact

Abigail Cooke“I love being a name and not a number,” Abigail (Abbie) Cooke ’20 says about why Regis was the college for her. “Regis provides a close-knit environment that encourages students to work hard and be the best version of themselves. The support I have received has helped me pursue goals that I never thought possible.”

Abigail is a biology major and Presidential Catholic Schools Scholarship recipient, a four-year, full-tuition scholarship awarded to high-achieving student leaders who are dedicated to serving their dear neighbors. “The scholarship has allowed me to enjoy my college experience while pursuing my degree—I know I will be in a good place financially when I graduate which provides peace of mind,” Abbie notes.

Abbie was drawn to Regis because of the emphasis placed on service, and she was eager to be at a school where she could continue her passion for volunteering and be an active member of the community. This past summer, Abbie traveled to Haiti with YourStory International, an organization that focuses on empowering communities to define and meet their own development goals. Abbie visited local villages to do health assessments and conduct interviews, and she offered walk-in appointments for many who had been waiting months or even years to receive health services. “The trip was eye-opening to see how lucky I am to have constant access to healthcare,” Abbie says. “It was a gratifying opportunity to work collaboratively with the locals—knowing that we helped to leave a lasting impact on the communities even after we leave.”

After graduation, Abbie plans to continue her community service by taking a year off to volunteer with Jesuit Volunteer Corps, where she will serve in underserved and marginalized communities. Her service work will include addiction recovery, child and youth services, hunger relief, and immigration and refugee services. At the same time, Abbie will apply to graduate school for a doctorate in Occupational Therapy.

“Occupational therapy enhances development and helps families meet the individual needs of their children, and I would love to be able to help toddlers get where they need to be before they begin school,” she says. “By working in a school system, I could help students improve their academic and motor skills in order to be successful in the classroom. I am so passionate about working with children and I can’t wait to get into this field to help them thrive.”