Cooke aims to help others

Published 1:30 pm Tuesday, July 15, 2014

By Morgan Burkett
The Greenville Advocate

It was an ordinary day.

And then it wasn’t.

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Like most days during the spring, Naareh Cooke had just completed softball practice at Georgiana School. But once she arrived home, things became anything but ordinary.

She learned that her grandmother had suffered a stroke. Cooke’s mother flew to New York to be with her mother and would call home with updates.

“When my mom called home, she told us about the occupational therapist that came to see my grandmother,” Cooke said. “I just loved how much the therapist cared and how much she helped increase the improvement of my grandmother.”

Cooke was so inspired she now intends to study occupational therapy at Troy University.

Naareh Cooke plans to study occupational therapy at Troy University. (Submitted Photo)

Naareh Cooke plans to study occupational therapy at Troy University. (Submitted Photo)

But before Cooke earns the title of occupational therapists, she hopes to earn the title of Butler County’s Distinguished Young Woman.

Cooke is one of eight high school seniors competing for the title.

DYW is a scholarship program that was founded in 1958 in Mobile. It is the largest and oldest national scholarship program for high school girls.

Contestants will compete in five categories: scholastics, interview, talent, fitness and self-expression.

The interview and talent portions of the competition will count for 25 percent of the contestant’s score, while the scholastics portion will count for 20 percent and fitness and self-expression will each count for 15 percent of the overall score.

This year’s competition will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Ritz Theatre.