From Sheffield to the USA: Emmi Cook

Sheffield United Community College (SUCC) serves as a springboard for various progression pathways upon completion of its college programme. Whilst many students traditionally pursue higher education at universities, others leverage it as a platform to showcase their football talent. In the case of Emmi, she managed to excel in both! This case study tracks the journey of Emmi Cook, a talented student who seized the support and opportunities offered by the college to secure a football scholarship in the United States.

Emmi, who completed her BTEC Level 3 in Sport with Triple Distinction* in 2023, achieved her career dream when she was offered the opportunity to study and compete at Copiah Lincoln Community College in Mississippi. Alongside her football endeavours, Emmi is studying Kinesiology (Health, Physical Education, and Recreation), aligning with her academic interests and building upon the knowledge acquired at SUCC.

After catching up with Emmi, she spoke proudly of her time and achievements at SUCC. “College helped me to gain my scholarship to America by supporting me through my football journey and helping me to maintain my fitness and prepare to go abroad.  As well as the academic skills, the tutors taught me ways to adapt to university life and helped me learn the foundations, so I had prior knowledge in some subjects that I’m now studying.”

Reflecting on her time at SUCC, Emmi fondly remembers the enrichment experiences and lasting friendships made within the college’s small, but tight, community. “The tutors are all amazing and helpful and are people I will remember and stay in contact with for a long time. I’ve made friends for life that I keep in touch with. I learned things at college that have helped me move to a new country and make a life out here and will forever be grateful for Sheffield United Community College for the help they gave me with that.”

Emmi’s Football Coach and Mentor at SUCC, Charlotte Bennehan, provided glowing feedback on her progress, attitude and commitment during her time at the college. Academically, Charlotte noted Emmi’s dedication to her studies, highlighting that she always strived for excellence in her coursework. On the football pitch, Charlotte commended Emmi for her work ethic, leadership qualities, and vast improvement in her technical skills. Charlotte believes Emmi’s time at SUCC helped lay solid foundations for her success, both academically and sporting, and helped contribute towards obtaining her scholarship.

Transitioning to life in America has presented its challenges, but Emmi is embracing the opportunity wholeheartedly. “I love being in America; it’s a whole new experience and lifestyle. I currently live in Mississippi, which is in the south; it’s nice and warm most of the time and I’ve had great experiences that I’ll remember for a long time. During my first semester I really struggled with missing home, but this semester I’ve really loved my time here and made some great friends here too!”

As she navigates through the next stage of her journey at Copiah Lincoln Community College, Emmi remains dedicated in her commitment to making her time in America a success. When speaking about her future plans, she aims to “spend two years here at Copiah Lincoln Community College and then move onto a 4-year University programme afterwards. I’m still not 100% sure what I want to do as my job when I’m older, but I would like to work around coaching and sport. Football wise I want to keep pushing myself to achieve the highest level possible, wherever that may be.”

As her pathway continues to unfold, SUCC wish her all the best with her future endeavours, both on and off the pitch! From the college’s perspective, Emmi provides tangible evidence around what can be achieved when students dedicate themselves towards a particular goal.