Tyler Junior College students Heidy Soto and Jeffrey Youngblood have been selected to receive scholarships from the Community College Baccalaureate Association (CCBA).
CCBA is the national organization for community colleges that are baccalaureate-granting institutions.
Dr. Angela M. Kersenbrock, president of the association, said, “The CCBA is dedicated to the idea that everyone should have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. Our board members believe so strongly in this mission, they individually donate to support community college baccalaureate student scholarships. We congratulate these students and can’t wait to see where their baccalaureate degrees take them next.”
The awards were personally presented by TJC President Dr. Juan E. Mejia, who also serves on the national board of directors of the CCBA.
“Heidy and Jeffrey have always distinguished themselves as scholars and leaders, and we are very proud of them.” Mejia said. “We celebrate them for their extraordinary efforts, and we extend our most sincere appreciation to the entire board of the CCBA for recognizing student achievements.”
Soto, of Marshall, is currently working toward her Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene (BSDH) degree at TJC. She previously earned an Associate of Arts in general studies and an Associate of Applied Sciences in dental hygiene from TJC.
Soto said, “I received my associate degree in dental hygiene from TJC in 2019 and have been working as a clinical dental hygienist since then.”
She saw the BSDH program as a way to create more career opportunities within her field.
“This program will open many doors for me,” she said. “It will help me take my career further by allowing me to become an educator, a researcher or an office manager within the dental field. I want to thank TJC and the CCBA for making it possible for me to continue to receive the education I need to progress my career.”
Carrie Hobbs, TJC dental studies professor and department chair, said, “Heidy has been a rock star through every program we have. Throughout her time with us, she has proven to have excellent grades and spirit, and she’s been a leader in our student organization. She’s someone that TJC is very proud of.”
For more information on the program, go to TJC.edu/dental.
Youngblood, of Tyler, is working toward a Bachelor of Applied Technology in TJC’s Healthcare Technology and Medical Systems (HTMS) program. He previously earned a licensed vocational nursing certificate of proficiency and an Associate of Applied Sciences in nursing from TJC.
For the past 11 years, he has been a nurse with The Hospice of East Texas and Texas Palliative Care physician group, working in hospitals with palliative care groups that help families make important, and sometimes difficult, decisions.
He also serves as a college pastor and member of the ministry team at First Apostolic Church in Tyler. He and his wife have a son, age 8, and a daughter, 2.
Youngblood said, “I’m truly honored to receive this award, and I am excited to be receiving my baccalaureate degree from TJC. I’ve received my LVN and RN degrees from TJC, so to be able to polish it off with the healthcare management degree is just fantastic. This bachelor’s degree will help me advance my career and help my family as well. I’m very grateful.”
Loretta Swan, dean of the TJC School of Professional & Technical Programs, said, “Jeffrey is not just any student in our program but one of the best students we have. His academic achievements are phenomenal, he’s a great learner and great representative for our school, he works in the community and is just a fantastic person to receive this award. He will use it well, he will represent TJC well and he will represent our local employers well. It’s an honor to be able to award it to him.”
For more information on the program, go to TJC.edu/HTMS.