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!
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.
We were intrigued and thrilled when Ashley, our daughter, told us that the Terry Foundation had deemed her qualified to interview for a substantial scholarship. She had worked hard her first year at a community college and was heading to Texas Tech and then onto Tech Nursing School. Ashley asked me to help her find an appropriate outfit for the interview. We went into our closets and came up with a modest, appropriate business-professional outfit, from head to toe. We noticed how some students could have used some advice---Ashley was thankful to have me help her find the right impression.
We traveled to Austin, booked a room where the interviews were being held and made a mother-daughter weekend of it. We had fun going out to dinner and seeing Austin. Waiting to hear whether Ashley was accepted was, of course, a little nerve-wracking, but, honestly, I would have been so surprised if she hadn't made it----she did!
That was three years ago! My, how time flies! We are so grateful to God for this provision! We told Ashley that God would provide, as He always does and that we would be able to look back in awe, though, at the time, we said that in faith. Graduation is only weeks away and the culmination of Ashley's hard work. We look forward to Graduation and celebrating the fact that the Terry Scholarship enabled our daughter to achieve her dreams.
Karen and Christian Harris
I just want to add a very important thing (this is Ashley's dad) ... She did NOT make the first cut and was put on the standby list. When someone dropped out and couldn't make the interview, Ashley was called and told she could ... she did and was one of the one's chosen. Providence.
by Karen Jennings
We have had 2 children receive Terry Foundation Scholarships. Thank you is not an adequate expression of the gratitude we have for having received this blessing. This foundation is awesome. Unfortunately, we have not been able to participate in the parent activities at TTU. We will try to concisely communicate some of our suggestions to help calm your nerves and curb any fears you might have.
Since all freshmen students have to live in the dorm at TTU, Terry’s stipulation of living in the dorm was unarguable. Our concern arose when we learned they had to stay in the same dorm with each other. Our son had a roommate picked and planned to live in the agriculture dorm. We were concerned about compatibility, but our fears were unwarranted. The dorm was an excellent situation in our opinion. That environment was far better than we could have imagined. According to our son, the Terry students encouraged each other to study and provided a chance to develop real relationships. He felt it was far better than his experience in the ag dorm would have been. His sophomore year, he roomed with two other Terry scholars in a house. He enjoys friends in his major, but also enjoys having more diversity in his friendships with the other Terry kids.
We do have to admit, that although we knew it was a co-ed dorm, we did not expect girls and guys to live on the same floor and right across the hall from each other. His older sister (by 12 years) was most horrified! Because of the “apartment” type living set up, it was no different than an apartment complex except that there was hopefully a bit more oversight and accountability. (At least that is how we appeased ourselves.)
Parents, relax, count your blessings for having had the opportunity to apply for this amazing scholarship, and pray for God’s will for your young adult’s perfect destiny. If he/she does not receive a Terry, it is not the end of the world—another door will open up. If he/she is awarded a scholarship, be sure you and your child realize the great opportunity you have been granted.
Good luck to all.
While not the author of all of the posts, Heather Medley, the Terry Program Director at Texas Tech is the blogger of choice here.