The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Student wins $100,000 scholarship in random drawing

Chris Kemp

Any scholarship is great. A $100,000 scholarship is unbelievable. So unbelievable in fact, that when he received a letter saying he had won a six-figure scholarship, freshman Cody Walker didn’t believe it and almost lost the scholarship.

“They had trouble finding me,” he said. “They finally called my counselor from high school and she called me. She let me know that as far as she knew, it was a legitimate scholarship.”

Walker’s mom, Julie, said they kept throwing away the mailings they received saying Walker had won the scholarship, she said.

During his senior year of high school, Walker said Barbizon International, one of the oldest and largest modeling and acting companies in the world, had a guest speaker at his high school. After the presentation, he filled out a slip of paper to win a scholarship.

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“I don’t think he even remembers filling it out, because when I first told him he didn’t remember it,” Julie said. “So I just thought they were trying to get him to do some modeling or something, so that’s why we just kept throwing it away.”

Laura Rosie, National Special Events Coordinator in the public relations department of Barbizon International said Barbizon sends out motivational speakers to middle schools and high schools, she said. After the presentation they offer a scholarship drawing.

“The slips are sent to our corporate office in Florida where there is a drawing every two years,” she said. “There are about 100,000 names in each drawing if not more.”

His name was randomly picked out of all those people, Walker said.

“It was awesome,” he said. “I mean, it didn’t seem real for a really long time.”

Walker is the fourth winner of this scholarship, Rosie said.

“He is the first male who has won,” she said. “He is also the first one who is not a Barbizon model.”

Julie said she was ecstatic for her son because he worked so hard and he applied for federal loans each semester. Now he doesn’t have to worry.

“He won’t be in debt when he gets out of undergraduate school and goes for his masters degree,” she said. “He won’t have to worry about paying a bunch of money back.”

Walker said it will be easier and less stressful.

“Right now I am working for school and now I won’t have to work so much, so it will help my grades,” he said.

Rosie said they tried over 20 times to contact Walker about his scholarship.

“We sent three certified letters to his mother’s house, two to the college, three e-mails to him, we left messages on the phone number from the college Web site, which was his girlfriend’s cell phone,” she said. “But we couldn’t reach him.”

If the company hadn’t reached Walker in that time, they would have chosen another winner, Rosie said.

The money can only be used for tuition, Walker said. Barbizon has it set up so the school sends the bill directly to them and they pay for it.

With so much money to use for tuition, he said transferring to a more expensive school has crossed his mind, but he doesn’t really know where he would want to go.

“I am from around Madison, so I thought about transferring to Madison,” Walker said. “I don’t really want to go too far away.”

He said he wants to be a veterinarian, Rosie said.

“I think he’s bright and I think he can do it,” she said, “so I am just happy that we can help him out.”

It’s really exciting not to have to pay for school anymore, he said.

“I won’t be in debt right away,” Walker said. “I will have more money, so I will have more opportunities.”

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Student wins $100,000 scholarship in random drawing