In May 2015, twin sisters Allison and Amanda Potter graduated from Rusk High School.
They attended Tyler Junior College tuition free, as part of the second class of RHS graduates to attend TJC on the Rusk TJC Citizens Promise Scholarship.
“I can honestly say that if it weren’t for the Rusk Promise, we would not have been able to go to college right after high school,” Amanda said. “We would have had to get jobs or go into debt with student loans.”
On May 12, the Potter sisters crossed the stage and received associate’s degrees in general studies, both graduating magna cum laude.
Amanda said, “We loved our experience at TJC. The professors were all so helpful and supportive, and always went out of their way to help. You could really tell they were pulling for us the whole way.”
Next fall, they intend to continue their studies at TJC, training for careers in the medical field. Allison is seeking admission into the TJC radiologic technology program and Amanda has applied to the diagnostic medical sonography program.
The James I. Perkins Family Foundation – along with Citizens 1st Bank, Rusk ISD, TJC and the TJC Foundation – established the Rusk TJC Citizens Promise in February 2014. The first program of its kind in Texas, the Rusk Promise covers up to two years at TJC for Rusk students who graduate in the top half of their class with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Qualifying students must also reside in Rusk ISD and must have attended Rusk High School for grades 11 and 12.
In a special ceremony last week, the Perkins family and TJC honored the second class of Rusk Promise scholars for their hard work over the past two years.
The 2017 Rusk Promise scholars honored at the event were:
• Kaylie Arnwine, pursuing a nursing degree
• Eric Byfield, pursuing a systems administration degree
• Odessa Collins, pursuing a sign language interpreting degree
• Gabriella Creel, graduated cum laude with an Associate of Applied Science in systems administration
• Quade Davis, pursuing a business management degree
• Symira Dearman, pursuing a vocational nursing degree
• Kody Gayle, graduated cum laude with an Associate of Arts in criminal justice
• Anjelica Gonzalez, graduated with a certificate in dental assisting
• Taylor Hilton, pursuing an engineering degree
• Alyssa Isaacs, graduated with an Associate in Applied Science in business management
• Bailie Jones, pursuing a surgical technology degree
• Brittany Kellis, pursuing a nursing degree
• Allison Potter, graduated magna cum laude with an Associate of Arts in general studies
• Amanda Potter, graduated magna cum laude with an Associate of Arts in general studies
• Joshua Raiborn, pursuing a veterinary technology degree
• Torrance Shepherd, pursuing a computer science degree
• Kalli Stanley, pursuing a nursing degree
• Kaitlin Tugwell, pursuing a nursing degree
• Daisy Vargas, pursuing a biology degree
• Collette Williams, graduated with an Associate of Arts in criminal justice
Also last week, the Texas Bankers Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Texas Bankers Association, presented a Cornerstone Award to Citizens 1st Bank for its Rusk TJC Citizens Promise scholarship program.
Margaret Perkins, director, accepted the award at the Texas Bankers Association’s 133rd Annual Convention held in San Antonio.
This is the 15th year the Texas Bankers Foundation has recognized Texas banks for their outstanding community involvement through the Cornerstone Award competition.
For more on the Rusk TJC Citizens Promise, go to www.tjc.edu/RuskPromise.