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KU Freshman Awarded Opportunity Scholarship

August 12, 2014

Photo L to R:  Mary Linda Andrews, director of community partnerships, GSK; Nyasia Cooper, Hope D'Oyley-Gay, vice president, GSK Legal

KUTZTOWN, Pa. - Nyasia Cooper, an incoming freshman at Kutztown University, has been awarded a GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Opportunity Scholarship.  She received the award at a ceremony July 29. 

Before the age of two Cooper was diagnosed with sleep apnea, asthma and required open heart surgery. Although she overcame many of her health issues, she later faced cataracts and eye pain.  Surgery was not an option as it could result in the permanent loss of her sight. She had difficulty seeing color and reading.  Reading in class was especially frustrating and embarrassing. With glasses, she was able to pursue her passion for reading and writing, despite the pain.

Cooper will study English at KU. She hopes one day to publish a book that will inspire people to face their personal challenges.

GSK Opportunity Scholarships are awarded to Philadelphia residents who have overcome significant adversity and are changing their lives through higher education.  Recipients receive up to $20,000 for tuition, books and other educational expenses. The scholarship was established with The Philadelphia Foundation five years ago through a GSK endowment.

A video of Cooper's story can be found here


For more information contact Jennifer Armstrong, GlaxoSmithKline, at or 215-751-5664.