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CATA Awards the 2020 Spirit of Carol Cooling Scholarship to John Hersey High School Student Kathryn Costello


The Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA), the area's new-car dealer association, presented the 2020 Spirit of Carol Cooling Scholarship to a John Hersey High School senior, Kathryn Costello, this week. The CATA established the Spirit of Carol Cooling Scholarship-a $1,000 grant, now in its seventh year-to honor Carol Cooling, a Hersey alumna and long-time NBC 5 Chicago Special Events Director who died in 2013 following a battle with cancer.

As the producer of the Chicago Auto Show, the CATA worked closely with Cooling and NBC 5 to help facilitate the station's live TV specials that garnered several Emmy Awards over the years. When Cooling died, CATA leadership knew they wanted to help contribute to a cause that would enable her spirit to live on.

"What better way to pay tribute to a remarkable woman than to have her legacy live on through a scholarship program that helps young students further their education to set them up for success," said David Sloan, CATA president and Chicago Auto Show general manager. "John Webb, our board chairman at the time, presented this wonderful idea to honor our friend Carol."

The Hersey High School scholarship committee selected Costello as the recipient of the Spirit of Carol Cooling Scholarship because she embodies many of the characteristics also used to describe Cooling. Attributions such as "determined, mature, energetic, positive and motivated" are commonly used by Costello's teachers and peers.

Hersey Assistant Principal John Novak said that Costello was an "exceptional choice for the award" as she's heavily involved in a number of activities both inside and outside of school.

"We are very excited to have Kathryn Costello chosen as this year's recipient of the Spirit of Carol Cooling Scholarship," said Novak. "Kathryn's energy and spirit are what sets her apart from her peers. She performed hundreds of service work hours through our 'Service Over Self' program, all while taking a very solid academic schedule."

"We would like to once again thank the Chicago Automobile Trade Association for honoring Carol's memory by awarding this scholarship to a deserving Hersey student," Novak continued.

Costello will graduate from Hersey High School with a highest honors distinction and then attend the University of Colorado Boulder in the fall to study neuroscience. Costello will apply her scholarship money to her education where she looks forward to studying the adolescent brain.

"I'm extremely grateful to receive this award to not only further my college education, but also continue the spirit of Carol Cooling," commented Costello. "Carol was a person of positivity, and I think as we face a difficult time, it's important to grasp onto positivity. Even in what seems to be powerless situations, we always have power over one thing: our emotions. Our attitudes, our thoughts, our feelings are all choices, so why not choose to be positive, choose to be hopeful?"

Hersey High School students will have the chance to apply for the Spirit of Carol Cooling Scholarship again next year. 

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