Thirty-two Tyler Junior College students recently received $1,000 Promises to Keep scholarships for the spring semester from funds donated by TJC employees.
“Not only are the scholarships provided through funds from faculty and staff, the students are nominated for the scholarships by faculty and staff across campus and do not know they have been nominated,” TJC Scholarship Coordinator Sivya Leventhal said. “They are usually incredibly surprised – and grateful – to learn they’ve been selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship for the spring semester.”
Each fall, TJC employees participate in a month-long campaign to raise funds for TJC scholarships and programs as well as the United Way of Smith County.
The Promises to Keep Scholarships have become one of the most popular avenues for TJC employees to give back and help students reach their academic goals by providing needed funds for tuition, fees and books.
With a slogan of “I’m In: Be One of 500” and a goal to have participation from 500 employees, the campaign brought in 536 TJC employees who gave a total of $84,104.
Of that amount, $32,268 went directly to Promises to Keep Scholarships for TJC students; $27,776 went to TJC programs and activities; $12,437 went to the United Way of Smith County; and $11,623 went to the TJC Annual Fund.
“The national average of participation in annual faculty/staff giving campaigns participation is about 37 percent, so it’s incredible that our employees’ giving habits were 52 percent in 2016, 70 percent last year and 74 percent this year,” said Shelby Gould, TJC director of advancement services, who has led campaign efforts for the past several years. “It shows that our employees care deeply about our students and are willing to provide support where it’s needed.”
Gould also said the $1,000 scholarship could potentially cover the entire cost of a student’s tuition and fees for the semester.
Scholarship recipients and their hometowns are: Stacey Acton, Whitehouse; Joana Ahn, Cluz-Mapoca, Romania; Mychaele Beal, San Diego, Calif.; Nathan Beggs, Hawkins; Victoria Bowie, Chapel Hill; Christiana Brown, Athens; Joshua Brown, Athens; Lisa Brown, Athens; Tarrah Carmon, Cooper; Eric Carrington, Mineola; Darbi Craig, Jefferson; Jazzimine Crist, Rusk; Mayra Diaz, Chapel Hill; Tiffany Dodson, Jacksonville; Katie Dukes, Tyler; Melissa Epperson, Lindale; Curtis Evans, Marshall; Matthew Goodson Chandler; Ashley Hackman, George West; Madison Jantzen, Carrollton; Wendy Jenkins, Jacksonville; Danielle Kelley, Kilgore; Yesenia Lara, Lindale; Tyler Martinez, Canton; Bridgette McKnight, Tyler; Peter Merts, Springtown; Shandra Moore, Kearney, Mo.; Meghan Migura, Frankston; Rebecca Perez; Jeanett Athey, Waco; Louis Smith III, Shreveport, La.; and Kaitlyn Vest, Onalaska.
Jazzimine Crist, a sophomore music major from Rusk, said, “I was totally surprised and had absolutely no idea I had been nominated until I was notified that I had received it. I am one of five kids in my family, and there are two of us in college. This scholarship is a huge help to me and my parents, and I’m incredibly grateful.”
The scholarship recipients will have an opportunity to meet and show their appreciation to TJC employees who donated to the campaign during an on-campus luncheon on Wednesday, Feb. 7.