The dream of going to college became reality on Tuesday for some students in Dallas and DeSoto, as TCU started awarding its TCU Community Scholars with full ride $260,000 scholarships that include room and board, books and an opportunity to study abroad.
"I want you, and I want you," said Timeka Gordon, Director of TCU Community Scholars Program, as she walked down the table of seven scholarship students at DeSoto High School. "You don't have to pay for anything."
Some of the students and their parents wiped away tears. "I started crying before I came in the door," said Tasia Massinburg, one of the scholarship recipients. "It wasn't an easy journey at all, but to know that my hard work paid off. To sit at that table and sign that paper, it meant the world to me."
TCU started its Community Scholar program in 2000 with 12 recipients. This year the program will award 50 students across North Texas full ride scholarships to TCU.
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For Jadan Crow, it's an opportunity to do what her mother couldn't, having to work two jobs to make ends meet.
"We can't afford toys today. We can't afford snacks," Crow said about growing up with money tight.
"She's like, if I had made better choices when I was younger, everything could have been avoided, so I was like, let me try hard so I can make sure my kids don’t have to do that." Crow wants to go to medical school after TCU.
"This is just the beginning of your earning potential and what you're able to do for other people," said DeSoto ISD Superintendent Dr. D'Andre Weaver. "This college admissions process to get into higher education is a gateway to a different life."
TCU awards the scholarships to students at 13 high schools it partners with for its TCU Community Scholars Program.
"We wanted to make sure the pathway to higher education, and specifically to TCU, was not going to be a hindrance," Gordon said.