A.C. Jones seniors Claire Duge and Chet Sparks are two of more than 100 Texas students graduating in May 2011 to have been named Terry Scholars by The Terry Foundation.
“I picked up the phone to call her at work as soon as I opened and read the letter,” said Claire. Chet, on the other hand, didn’t have to wait to share the good news, “Mom and Dad read the letter over my shoulder as I was reading it.” Apparently they were anxious. And who wouldn’t be. “This is such an honor,” explains Paula Duffy, director for The Joe Barnhart Scholarship Program on the A.C. Jones campus, “It’s, essentially, a full ride – meaning their college costs are 100 percent paid for.”
Claire and Chet join several students from JHS in recent years in receiving these honors: 2002, Jennifer Brewer; 2005, Stephanie Cardwell and Angel Syzmura; 2006, Emily Shane; 2008, Megan Duge; 2009, Audrey Jones and Stephanie Rodriguez; 2010, Zach Johnson and Sadie Rodriguez. This year also marks the second time in JHS history that two siblings have received the honor. “That is Claire’s sister listed as the 2008 recipient. And the other siblings were Stephanie and Sadie Rodriguez,” Duffy noted.
Nominations for Terry Scholarship awards are accepted only from the designated offices at the seven universities affiliated with the Foundation – the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University at College Station, the University of Houston, Texas State University-San Marcos, the University of Texas at San Antonio, the University of Texas at Dallas and North Texas State University at Denton – and are not accepted from any other source.
Selection is based on the applicant’s ability to demonstrate academic excellence, leadership and financial need and is awarded for the scholar’s first year with an option to renew annually at the discretion of the board of directors.
Claire has been accepted to and will attend The University of Texas at San Antonio with the goal of becoming a registered nurse. Chet has been accepted to and will attend Texas A&M University in College Station to study chemical engineering.
Founders Howard Terry and wife Nancy’s desire to help young people help themselves formed the basis of The Terry Foundation and its goal: to improve and develop the State of Texas by assisting Texas students to attend the state’s finest public universities. The foundation hopes that these students will have a significant impact on the future leadership of the state and nation.
Terry believes “Success is the attainment of the goals you’ve set for yourself in life.” With more than 2,400 Texas college students benefiting from the Terry’s generosity since its inception in 1986, one might be inclined to say success is well in their grasp.