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!
While not the author of all of the posts, Heather Medley, the Terry Program Director at Texas Tech is the blogger of choice here.