Koliba, who attends the University of Houston-Victoria, is among 82 students across the state to receive scholarships totaling $128,500 from the TCTA Scholarship Program, which is funded by the estate of the late Charles and Phyllis Gottlieb.
When establishing the scholarship criteria, TCTA honored Phyllis Gottlieb’s wishes, which were to create a program unlike most others. Rather than looking solely at transcripts and selecting only top academic performers, who often have multiple financial aid sources, TCTA chooses recipients who have faced hardships that make higher education unlikely without help.
Koliba plans to become a registered nurse.
“When I have gained enough experience in this field, I may go back to college and pursue a specialty in oncology nursing so I can help children and adults get through the emotional toll cancer puts not only on the patient but the patient’s family,” Koliba wrote in her application.
Goliad High School counselor Debbie Henning nominated Koliba for the scholarship.
“I am recommending Kortney for this scholarship because I truly believe she has the potential to be very successful in life,” Henning wrote in her nomination. “Kortney wants to continue her education, and in my opinion, will succeed because of her determination.”
Now in its fourth year, the TCTA Scholarship Program awards scholarships in amounts up to $5,000 per year for tuition and required fees. In 2010, the program first awarded a total of $29,500 to 17 students and has increased those numbers each year, making the total awarded by the program so far $335,000.