Rusk TJC Citizens Promise program announces seventh group of scholars | TJC

Rusk TJC Citizens Promise program announces seventh group of scholars

Following the successful launch of the Rusk TJC Citizens Promise scholarship program in 2014, the seventh group of Rusk High School seniors is preparing to join the TJC freshman class of 2020.

The Rusk TJC Citizens Promise is one of the earliest Promise programs in the United States and the first such initiative in Texas. The Rusk TJC Citizens Promise initiative covers up to $4,000 per year for two years at TJC. In addition to graduating 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.

The 59 eligible Rusk seniors were introduced during a special event Tuesday in the RHS auditorium. The event was attended by the entire student body.

Speakers included: Dr. Juan E. Mejia, TJC president; Ronny Snow, RHS principal; Charles Hassell, Citizens 1st Bank; and John Wofford, a 2019 RHS graduate who is in his first semester at TJC.

This year’s eligible students are: Nicholas Acker, Jamyah Anderson, Jordan Booth, Lauren Boudreaux, Ezequiel Briseno Ortiz, Aaron Brooks, Donna Chain, Chloey Cleaver, Karen Colby, Mariela Cruz, Jordan Crysup, Victoria Davis, Seth Day, Claire Ferguson, Zurisadai Flores, Lanie Ford, Haylee Gray, Alyssa Hardy, Victoria Harper, Lara Hensley, Ana Hernandez, Jaci Hood, Valeria D. Iniguez Olguin, Kellie Jamail, Aaliyah Johnson, Claire Kellis, Avery Kinney, Lance Knott, Gabriel Lopez, Jacob Lucena, Crystal Martinez, Mollie McCalister, Ariel McClure, David Merchant, Kailee Millsap, Esther Mora, Colton Morris, Logan Orsack, Avery Perez, Evelyn Peters, Sophie Philibert, Raquel Rangel, Naomi Reifel, Jennifer Rosales Valdez, Adrianna Sanchez, Melanie Santos Rangel, Elizabeth Seals, Ahmad Sessions, Lainey Sprayberry, Trey Thompson, Johnathan Torres, Haley Trawick, Jaheim Upshaw, Micah Wallace, Jaylei Wick, Sarah Wofford, Jacob Woodlee, Lance Work and Savanna Young.

Megan Cumbee Burns, TJC’s scholarship recruitment and retention coordinator who is also a 2006 Rusk High School graduate, keeps in contact with Promise scholars throughout their senior year at RHS and holds a series of workshops and meetings especially for them and their parents, to ease the students’ transition from high school to TJC.

The Rusk TJC Citizens Promise program is a partnership between TJC, the TJC Foundation, Rusk ISD, Citizens 1st Bank and The Perkins Family Foundation.

Star Award finalist

The Rusk TJC Citizens Promise has been selected as a finalist for a 2019 Texas Higher Education Star Award, Tyler Junior College officials have announced.

The program has advanced to a selection committee, which determines the winners. All seven finalists and subsequent winners will be recognized during the 19th Annual Star Awards Ceremony to be held at the Texas Higher Education Leadership Conference on Nov. 22 in Austin.

“If the program is selected, it will be the first time TJC has been recognized for a Star Award by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board,” said Mitch Andrews, TJC vice president for institutional advancement and executive director of the TJC Foundation.

“The program demonstrates a successful partnership to build a college-going culture. We are grateful to Citizens 1stBank, the Perkins Family Foundation and the community of Rusk for their vision in establishing the Rusk TJC Citizens Promise.”

For more information on the Rusk TJC Citizens Promise, go to

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