Following a path to veterinary medicine
Trey Cook believes that his unique educational path – which includes homeschooling and community college classes – has well prepared him to attend East Carolina University.
He began as his mother’s student, learning at home. That expanded to a co-op learning environment with other homeschooled students when Cook was in middle school. By his senior year of high school, he was enrolled at Durham Technical Community College taking classes on campus and online.
“I’ve had a lot of different types of study,” he said.
Cook, 18, will be one of 19 students entering East Carolina University in August as EC Scholars – the most prestigious academic scholarship program the university offers.
“Being awarded the EC Scholarship has a huge financial benefit which will be incredible,” he explained. “However, I didn't want to make my decision purely based on money. The leaders of the Honors College and (EC) Scholars program made a huge impression on me; they are looking ahead to the future, and they are innovating, doing things other schools aren't willing to do.
“I realize I am held to a higher standard. ECU is making an investment in me; I have to make good on my end of the bargain.”
Becoming an EC Scholar “means working to excel more than I ever have before,” Cook continued. “It means growing into a man of character, integrity, and academic excellence so that 15 years from now, people will see me working and say, ‘Now that is EC Scholar material.’”
Cook will travel with his family to Alaska this summer – which he said he could not be more excited about – and will also intern at a veterinary clinic.
“Ever since I was little I wanted to be the San Diego Zoo vet. Instead of being an astronaut, that was my childhood dream.”
Though he’s no longer so sure about working with exotic animals, Cook hopes an undergraduate degree in biology or maybe biochemistry will prepare him for a career in veterinary medicine.
Cook also enjoys playing tennis in his free time. He ranked number 27 out of 289 in the North Carolina Jr. Tennis rankings. Cook participated with a tennis mission trip to Scotland by coaching and overseeing tennis practices. He was also the 2012 North Carolina Tennis Sportsman of the Year for boys 18 and under.
He is the son of Kenny and Sherri Cook.
-- Steve Tuttle and Kathryn Kennedy