Tyler Junior College Honors Rusk Citizens Promise Scholars | News


Tyler Junior College has recognized its seventh class of Rusk High School graduates to attend TJC as part of the Rusk TJC Citizens Promise Scholarship.

In February 2014, the James I. Perkins Family Foundation – along with Citizens 1st Bank, Rusk ISD, TJC and the TJC Foundation – established the Rusk TJC Citizens Promise.

The first program of its kind in Texas, the Rusk Promise covers up to two years at TJC for Rusk students who graduate in the top half of their class with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Eligible students must also reside at Rusk ISD and must have attended Rusk High School for grades 11 and 12.

Graduates were given lanyards to wear at the start of Friday’s TJC, with their colors representing their status as Rusk High School (red and black) and TJC (gold and black) alumni.

“Of the 13 graduating students, nine are graduating with honors,” said Megan Cumbee Burns, Senior Manager of TJC Scholarships and the Rusk TJC Citizens Promise. “As a group, all recognized students in this cohort achieved a 3.35 GPA, continuing to outperform their counterparts within the TJC student body in hours and GPA. This great achievement is due to the hard work and dedication of the students.

The 2022 Rusk Promise Scholars are:

• Jordan Booth, graduate of a general studies diploma

• Lauren Boudreaux, graduate of a general studies diploma

• Ezequiel Briseno, graduate in heating, air conditioning and refrigeration technology (HVAC/Refrigeration)

• Donna Chain, English student

• Mariela Cruz, art student

• Jordan Crysup, graduate of a general studies diploma

• Seth Day, graduate in science

• Landon Gates, HVAC/Refrigeration graduate

• Haylee Gray, pursuing a General Studies degree

• Ana Hernandez, art student

• Avery Kinney, graduate of General Studies

• Lance Knott, electrical/electronic control student

• Crystal Martinez, pursuing a pre-nursing degree

• Ariel McClure, graduate of a pre-nursing degree

• Kailee Millsap, graduate of a general studies diploma

• Colton Morris, graduate of General Studies

• Valeria Olguin, pursuing a pre-nursing degree

• Raquel Rangel, pre-diagnostic medical ultrasound student

• Naomi Reifel, graduate of an art degree

• Lainey Sprayberry, business student

• Jaheim Upshaw, graduate in business management

• Sarah Wofford, graduate in biology

• Jacob Woodlee, pursuing a General Studies degree

“Every student in this cohort has worked extremely hard over the past two years,” Burns said. “Our 2020 high school graduates have had to make the biggest adjustments – from finishing their senior year online to starting college virtually as well.”

She continued, “This group allowed nothing to slow them down in their academic pursuits. They endured virtual learning, limited access to campus organizations in their freshman year at TJC, and worked full-time to support their families. Some have even experienced the loss of family members, as well as so many daily challenges. At no time did any of these circumstances prevent these students from continuing to succeed.

To learn more about the Rusk TJC Citizen Promise, visit www.tjc.edu/RuskPromise.


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