The Terry Foundation has allowed a rebirth for our family which we never imagined. Stephen and I have been together since high school, through South Plains College, through 9 years in the military, have become parents to 2 great kids, and now the new direction for our family: Texas Tech University and the professional career beyond.
It has been Stephen's dream to go back to school post-military, and growing up part time in Lubbock stirred an overwhelming love for Texas Tech. We spent several years moving around with the Navy and knew we would end up back in Lubbock. Our plan was very basic. Let's go back, find a small place to live within small means, and make it work. Sounds simple enough, however being the non-traditional older, former military father AND student had its challenges. We just knew it had to work out. We prayed and trusted that something would work out.
It started with a simple invitation to apply for a transfer scholarship from the Terry Foundation. Stephen spent some time reading up on the immense, rich history of the Terry Family and the scholarship. He was excited to apply! Later on, he received an invitation to interview in Dallas where we were so quickly invited to partake as a family in the short trip. It was so generous how we were taken care of right away without even being part of the Terry Family yet.
A few weeks later, he got the call that he had been accepted as a Terry Transfer. It was such a blessing and immense and immediate excitement for us. I was so proud that he felt confident enough to even think about going back to school and now he had a way to pay for it. If nothing else, the Terry Foundation has provided for us financially while Stephen pursues his dream. Yet it is so much bigger than that.
The Tech Terrys are family. Meeting Heather made our non-traditional little family feel so welcomed immediately. Kelly made sure that we knew people right away and got to making everyone feel like we had someone to talk to if we needed anything. Our kids enjoyed fun night out at Main Event where everyone had fun together. The chairs of different groups are always looking for ways to make sure Terry Scholars are connected to each other, through different student classifications, ages, hobbies, and areas of study. It’s a pretty diverse group. They’re all treated like family.
The Terry Foundation has had a great impact on our family. It has allowed my amazing husband to focus on school, on our family’s new direction, on pursuing his dream, and to do so without worrying how we will make it all happen. It has provided immense financial support in a time where we would likely struggle to make it all happen and stay committed to the life we have already created financially. Most people don’t get the opportunity to pursue their dream field of study after their early 20s. The Terry Foundation made that all possible for us. We have been on quite a ride together so far, and this chapter has been exciting and stretching in so many good ways. We owe so much to a foundation that gives back to the students of Texas, without worrying that they are non-traditional. I have seen so many different people who benefitted from this amazing opportunity. It’s so exciting to hear of others’ backgrounds and situations that make them transfer students back on the road to higher education.
Stephen is so proud to be a Terry Scholar and our family is so honored to be a part of the experience. Thank you ever so much for the opportunity and the vision to help people achieve their dreams. It’s the generosity and the drive to improve that will most likely stick with me for the future when looking back on our time with Texas Tech and the Terry Foundation. I look forward to being someone who gives back and looks for the opportunity to help someone believe in themselves to grow, to learn, and to be good in our world.
What I Learned as a Texas Tech Terry Foundation Scholar Parent
We were pleasantly surprised as Terry Scholar parents that the foundation’s values matched many of our family’s values.
We have been blessed as parents that our kids were able to be Terry Scholars and that the Terry Foundation has had such a positive effect on our kids and our family.
John and Katherine Havens
“Mom, we got the emails – we’re both Terry Scholars!” I had stepped out of my classroom to answer a phone call from my boys. I knew they were expecting a life-changing email. With those words, I burst into tears. There was so much that this scholarship meant.
Chandler and Parker could accomplish their dreams. Since the boys were tiny, they have had a great love of learning. They have always been voracious readers – soaking up as much information as they could get their hands on. They have always thrived on academic competitions and pursuits. They couldn’t wait to attend college and be in an environment where others loved learning as much as they do.
College is expensive; college for two is really expensive. As a teacher and a printer, God has blessed us. Our family has never gone hungry, and we have always had a home. Paying for college, however, was not a reality. With this scholarship, the boys could attend Texas Tech University.
What we didn’t know was that the Terry Foundation Scholarship was so much more than just the financial means to attend college. The heart of the Terry family is something we had not expected. From “Momma Medley” to Mr. Parker at the interview process, each person we have come into contact with has blessed us.
The Terry Scholars themselves are an amazing group as well. They each have such diverse talents and gifts. We will be forever grateful for the support and memories our boys are making with this incredible group of young people.
Chandler dreams of serving a rural community as a family doctor. Parker dreams of working as an actuary. With the generosity of the Terry Foundation and the support of the Terry family, they are both on their way to accomplishing their dreams.
From their first year at college, I learned a few lessons along the way I would like to share with other Terry parents.
(from a first time college mom)
As Terry parents, we are twice blessed. Not only do we get to experience the joy of watching our babies leave the nest and fly, we do it knowing they will not have the burden on college debt.
by Jill O'Neal
As Brittney is finishing her first year at Texas Tech, we take every opportunity we get to talk with her about how fortunate and lucky she is to have received the Terry Scholarship. We are so thankful to the foundation and feel certain Brittney will work to give back to this great group of people.
Brittney participated in orientation and we encouraged her to do everything she could to get involved in school. As a Tech Terry Scholar, this enabled her to have a fantastic room in the residence hall and an instant inner circle of friends. Going into the year, we did not realize the amount of functions, the proximity of the other Terry’s living quarters and the instant feeling of belonging to a group that she would encounter.
A few things that I wish we had done prior to the start of school is to come up with a plan for things that might occur. Lubbock is over five hours from our home and although we visit, we are not close enough to be there quickly. Prior to starting or early in the first semester, I wish we had scoped out a few places. From where to buy groceries, a clinic that takes your insurance, an auto-body shop, a local dentist and a place to have your oil changed or your tires rotated would have been helpful information. Having caught the flu and unfortunately, having a fender bender happened this year and it would have been easier on Brittney if we had done some ground work ahead of time.
I think the busier kids are and the more involved they get in school, the less likely they are to get homesick; however, even though they may be super busy, they will get homesick. You will miss them as much as they miss you. For me, it has helped to send things in the mail to Brittney. She knows we are thinking about her and I love the tone in her voice when she calls after receiving a care package.
Most kids today have their own debit card and bank account. We talked with Brittney a lot about spending, budgeting and making the money she receives from the foundation last. She has complete control, but we absolutely talk about her budget, how she is spending her money and her long term plan. We talk about her bank account frequently.
TALK ABOUT THINGS THAT MATTER
The best advice I can give to a parent of a child that is about to start college is to talk to your child. Talk to them frequently and talk to them about things that matter. If you are doing that on a daily basis prior to school starting, they are going to continue to talk to you once they arrive at Tech. They will have roommate issues, encounter people that have different values than they do, face rejection, develop a crush, fall in love, have accidents, get sick, realize they have to study differently than in high school, find new friends, miss their siblings, spend too much money, realize they are no longer the biggest fish in the pond and make choices that will shape and mold their future. Having an open line of communication with them will allow you to continue to be a part of their life and will give them the support they need as they grow into adulthood.
Texas Tech is a great school and the people that work with the Tech Terry Foundation will help you support your child when you are not there. Know that your child will forever be a Red Raider and you will forever wear red and black.
by Terri Boston Ward
Welcome to all the 2016-2017 Texas Tech Terry Scholars and Parents~
In Spring 2013 when we came to Texas Tech to visit we were lucky enough to visit with Heather Medley... at that moment little did she know she would change our college life forever.
Her commitment and belief in the Terry Foundation and to educate us on their philosophy of education encouraged Brooke to apply and receive funds for her collegiate path.
Just about the time we would run into obstacles in Brooke's road of education, a new door with Terry Foundation would open. The added bonus of funds for a semester of Study Abroad was a tremendous blessing! I would encourage every Terry Scholar to work with your advisor as a Freshman and work this opportunity into your curriculum - even if it is just a summer.
The monetary aspect of the Terry Foundation is just a small part of what your son/daughter will gain from this opportunity. Mentors, friendships, travels and social gatherings are going to be a lifetime of memories that your son/daughter will engage in while at Texas Tech University.
Brooke will graduate in December 2016 and go on to pursue a degree at Pharmacy School. She hopes to run across other Terry Scholars as she grows in her career endeavors. Our family thanks the Terry Foundation for the dreams they have allowed Brooke to pursue and the road the paved for her success without debt.
Wreck 'em Tech Terry Scholars,
by Robyn Cox, Gaven's Mom
First of all I would like to say welcome to the Texas Tech Terry family!
If you are like I was the excitement and joy about the opportunities awaiting your child are mixed with the waves of nostalgia and a great sense of loss. I remember the fears of being the “helicopter” parent overwhelmed me as I thought of how I was going to let my baby, my first born, go out into the world without me. How would he ever survive? Who will do his laundry? Will he eat? Who will stay on him about his studies? All the things a parent takes care of and worries about they will be faced with doing on their own. Whether your child is 1 or 10 hours away the nerves and mixed emotions are real and uncontrollable and that is OK. I later learned it is just all part of the process. Last year at this time, I was like all of you, gearing up for graduation and crying for no apparent reason as I drove alone in my car or gathered his pictures for the senior slide show. Where had my baby gone?
BUT, here I am a year later and boy what a great year it has been. After graduation we enjoyed our summer and prepared for the big move. Everything at orientation was so organized and helpful. We were lost as a goose at first, but the faculty will gladly help you know where to go and what to do next. Luckily for us our children have what many college students do not have, they have a built in family. Once becoming a Terry your child will be invited to various social networking pages and be friended by fellow Terry’s. Encourage their interaction. Making acquaintances prior to arrival helps ease their nerves and gives them something to look forward to. It was very comforting for me as a mom when my sons Terry mentor showed up, introduced himself and actually helped us during the move in process. Our Terry family will have a get together during move in, please come. For me, meeting other parents and getting to know them and their kids that my child will be spending time with helped ease my fears. Knowing there is a built in family that will be inviting my child places and helping him adjust was profound. My son adjusted rather quickly and I credit the foundation for a great deal of that. If they are not seeing the other Terry’s at events they check on them and that is priceless.
My son is not one to call, and although hard at first, it is ok. I have had to talk myself out of scolding him for not calling more. I have to understand he is adjusting just as I and his schedule is very different. We communicate via text almost daily and I have found that that is okay with me and when I do get the phone call I have to hide my giddiness so he doesn’t make fun of me. I had learned to not “electronically leash” my child and with that he and I communicate effectively and often. You will find your happy medium as well.
I learned to lean on other parents who were going through the same thing and I encourage you to do the same. The fact that your child has earned the Terry tells me that you have laid a great foundation over the past 18 years. That foundation will not leave as they do for college. They will adjust at their own pace. You have done a good job, trust in that. (although that is probably the hardest part)
Leaving our son was undoubtedly the most difficult moment. I stressed over our closing words. I felt I needed to leave him with some great wisdom or book worthy quote. You don’t. We all hugged and I left him with “I love you” and that was just enough for the both of us.
Changes at home are although noticeable, easier now. It takes time, but the adjustment comes and then you look forward to the visits as will your child. Although new, the next chapter is amazing in its own way. The pride I feel seeing my child adjust and thrive is well worth the pain of having to “let go”.
God speed to all Freshman Terry’s and prayers to every college parent
Here is what I would offer to those parent whose students have been fortunate enough to make it to the interview round....
Before you ever head to the interview, hug your student and let them know how proud you are that they have made it to the interview. That by itself is a tremendous honor and says so much about the child you have raised. The majority, and they are all great students and great people, don't even make the cut to the interview.
Make sure they do their research! Have them read everything they can about the history of the Terry Foundation and the Terry Scholarship. Appreciate the vision and the generosity of Mr. Terry. Ask them this question..."If you had the financial capacity to bless people like Mr. Terry has done, would you do so?" It might help them consider how they are in this position to begin with.
Talk to your student about what an interview might look like. Help them envision a board room with a number of people sitting on one side of the table and the student sitting on the other side. How do you sit? What do you do with your hands? Who do you look at? Do you shake everyone's hands when you come in or when you leave...or both? How much do you say? Should they answer a question with a simple yes or no? You've been training and teaching your child all their life...this is another teachable moment!
Encourage them to relax (easier said than done!). Don't put any pressure on them by reminding them what the scholarship could be worth. They know that already. Focus on the great experience they are getting simply by being able to take part in an interview like this. Remind them that this experience, whether they receive the scholarship or not, will benefit them greatly later in life. Take another opportunity to tell them how proud you are that they have been invited to interview, but remind them that this new stage of life they are about to embark on (college!) will be a fantastic experience even if they aren't selected to be a Terry Scholar.
Finally, if you are a person and family of faith, pray with your child! One of the best things I did with my son before we took the elevator up to "the interview room" was to sit in a quiet place and pray over him...specifically praying for calmness.
When the interview is over, you're going to want to ask questions. Don't do that initially. They've just been answering a lot of questions, and their heads are kind of spinning. Let them tell you how it went. Don't critique their answers unless they ask your opinion. Remind them again how proud you are...and take them to eat somewhere so they can relax!
We thought we understood what an amazing scholarship and opportunity the Terry Foundation Scholarship was before our son interviewed, and we thought we REALLY understood when he was blessed by being named a Terry Scholar. Now, almost two years into his time as a Tech Terry, we realize we had no idea! We are so thankful for the Terry Foundation and the way the Tech Terry people make it seem like a family.
Had our son not received the scholarship, we would still be proud of him...and we would still think the Terry Scholar program is fantastic!
My daughter was nervous when she received the first call about the interview for a chance to receive the Terry scholarship at Texas Tech. The nervousness didn't end until the day interview was scheduled was finally over. After arriving for the interview, my daughter and I were welcome by kind staff who made us feel comfortable about the meeting to come. As I sat and waited for my daughter to end the interview, I learn a lot of information from the college representatives about the Terry scholarship, freshman year, and how it was a privilege to be considered for this scholarship. Finding out over six hundred applicants applied for the scholarship and only about sixty five were called for an interview. We had no prior knowledge of Texas Tech or the Terry scholarship Foundation before attending the interview. My daughter first choice college was Baylor. So many colleges had solicited her application. Harvard had interviewed her prior to meeting.
Once leaving the Terry interview, we were no longer confused about what college to choose. My daughters' interest had change to Texas Tech. We prayed and hoped she would receive the call to announce she was the recipient of the Terry scholarship. My daughter told me the email came through the busy hectic schedule of her day. She was chosen as a recipient of the Terry scholarship. She had no time to tell me right away. We celebrated the answer to prayer and now anticipated the ride to see the campus.
During the summer, we were scheduled to meet the Terry Scholar Director, Mrs. Heather Medley. She was a pleasure to meet and quite an asset to the college. She gave such a pleasant and detailed presentation for us. We didn't have many questions to ask at the end of meeting, due to Mrs. Medley thorough explanation of the enrollment process. My daughter was now comfortable about beginning her college experience at Tech. The campus is huge and beautiful. Seeing the Texas Tech Masked Rider on a huge horse, dressed in black clothing really impressed us. We were certain this is where my daughter was intended to be.
Now her freshman year is almost over in a couple of months. She is so happy to be a Raider and I am absolutely proud the Terry Scholarship was available and offered to my daughter. I want to THANK the TERRY FOUNDATION for their financial support and thoughtfulness of students needing financial support.
May you all be blessed,
A freshman parent
by Karen Kuhler
When we heard that our daughter would be able to interview for the Terry Scholarship, we were so proud, yet we knew we had a lot of work to do. We started out by looking up the basic interview questions and doing mock interviews just so she would be prepared and wouldn't be caught off guard by any questions. We went out and invested in a portfolio that she could carry with her into the interview that carried our families financial information that she could refer. After preparing for the interview itself, we took some time as a family to research the Terry Foundation. We felt that if our daughter was blessed enough to receive the scholarship, we would want to know as much as we could about the Terry’s.
Little did we know that when she received the scholarship, our lives would be forever changed. My husband and I do not have that added stress of having to worry about how we will pay for her college, and most importantly, we do not have to worry about her being taken care of while she’s at Texas Tech. We did not know that when she received this scholarship that she would be gaining a Terry family as well. Our daughter has made so many life long friends that are Terry’s that not only care about her well-being but push her to do better academically as well.
The best advice I can give is to just be yourself. I know it sounds simple, but your son/daughter would not have gotten this far if they were not great kids. The interview team wants to get to know them - not interrogate them. They are very gracious and realize that the candidates are nervous. My daughter left feeling like she had blown it because she did not know the answer to a financial question. The team is not grading you on your performance, but trying to get a feel for how you would represent the Terry Foundation and how being a Terry would impact your life in a way that you impact others. Certainly you need to be prepared! At the end of the day, the scholarship is a competitive award; however, the interview team is there to help - not to intimidate. Tell your son/daughter to relax (as much as possible) and believe in themselves.
While not the author of all of the posts, Heather Medley, the Terry Program Director at Texas Tech is the blogger of choice here.