By Andrea Valdez
Broadcast News Director
TJC sophomore student DeShona Jernigan was recently announced as a semifinalist for the Jack Kent Cooke Transfer Foundation Scholarship out of 1,500 applicants nationwide. According to the Jack Kent Cooke Website, the highly selective scholarship provides up to $40,000 per year to a community college student seeking to complete their bachelor’s degrees at four-year colleges and universities.
“After I found out I called everybody who I told to let them know, ‘Hey, I’m a semifinalist,’ and they’ve been encouraging me for the next step going forward,” Jernigan said.
When applying for the scholarship, the process began in October through the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship foundation with the deadline ending in January. The application asks questions such as campus involvement, community service, class scheduling and work experience. Along with these questions, the applications calls for essays that give an in-depth look into who the applicants are.
“Honestly, it’s an extremely long application but in the end if you work hard to complete it and you feel like you worked hard to get to where you need to be to fill out the application then it pays off in the end,” Jernigan said.
While at TJC, Jernigan has been involved in several big name organizations taking on leadership roles such as chapter president of the Alpha Omicron chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, clarinet section leader in the Apache Band, a member of the band service fraternity Kappa Kappa Psi and is a part of the Honors program working as an Honors intern. Although her involvement in extracurriculars are a priority for her, her academics are also a priority as representative of her participation in the Honors program.
“I tend to keep my schedule going with my calendar and just continue to make sure I have everything planned out day by day, look at everything that I have to do each day and I really just go from there,” Jernigan said.
When it comes to what inspires her, Jernigan said her goals and ambitions are what keep her head held high when the going gets tough. Throughout her time at TJC, she has also learned some lessons she will hold on to going forward in her academic career.
“I know that I have goals that I want to reach in the future and so like everything that I have the opportunity to get involved in I give 110% and all of it so that’s really what just keeps me going because I just really want to achieve whatever I can achieve to make the best of it,” Jernigan said.
One of TJC’s core values is empowerment and a piece of advice Jernigan has for those wanting to be in her position is for them to follow their goals and feel like they can achieve them.
“Anything you want to achieve in life, it’s achievable. You just have to put in the work to do it and you have to have the mindset to do it,” Jernigan said.
Jernigan will be graduating in May and upon graduation, she plans on transferring to the University of Texas in San Antonio to be in their biomedical engineering program.