By Rebecca Najera
Along with celebrating its 90th anniversary, TJC announced the TJC Promise scholarship on Sept. 16. This scholarship will benefit high school students within the college’s taxing district. “It is going to change our community and make our communities better,” said alumni and superintendent of Lindale Stan Surratt.
For the last three years, TJC has had a promise program set up with Rusk ISD. However, starting with the class of 2020, students within the school’s taxing district will have the chance to have their two years of tuition and fees paid for.
“Tyler Junior College is laying an amazing foundation for men and women to pursue a college education,” said alumni and Winona superintendent, Cody Mize.
This promise gives students the opportunity to receive a higher education they might not have received otherwise.
“In our school district, we have almost 70% of our kids that are labeled economically disadvantaged. And the TJC/Winona Promise is going to give many of those kids an opportunity to achieve a college education. That was just a fantasy prior to this event.”
All the poverty levels in the districts mentioned at the ceremony were above 50%. By launching this scholarship, school officials are hoping to break the cycle of poverty that takes a hold in the taxing district.
“Student debt is grasping this country; it’s killing us,” said Marty Crawford, superintendent for Tyler ISD.
Crawford has a daughter that has earned her associate’s degree at TJC as enrolled in the RN program right now. Once she finishes here, she’ll be able to to transfer to her university debt free.
“Every kid deserves that opportunity, not just those of the middle class,” said Crawford.