NCTC honor student receives transfer scholarship

Elizabeth F. Abu | Aug 14, 2018

itzel-headshot.jpgItzel Tapia graduated from North Central Texas College in May 2018 with her Associate of Science Degree and received a Terry Foundation Scholarship for Transfer Students.

This scholarship will pay for the entire cost of attendance for the University of Texas at Dallas, where Tapia will start classes this fall.

“Being a Terry Scholar is a dream come true,” said Tapia. “It feels surreal, like I'm in a dream, and I keep thinking someone is going to wake me up and tell me I imagined it all. I never thought, not in a million years, I would have the opportunity to receive support from such an amazing organization like the Terry Foundation.”

While at NCTC Tapia was a very active student, involved in many student groups and the honors program, serving her last year as an officer for the NCTC honor society Phi Theta Kappa.

“Itzel has put in an incredible amount of work during her time at NCTC and in the Honors Program,” said NCTC Honors Advisor Jill Swarner. “We are incredibly proud of her and can’t wait to see the great things she will do.”

At UTD, Tapia will major in Software Engineering.

“I am currently working for the National Science Foundation as an undergraduate researcher with the Computer Science department at UTD,” said Tapia. “This has made me realize I love, and would do well, working in a research field.”

The late Howard and Nancy Terry founded the Terry Foundation in 1987 with the goal of helping young people to help themselves. Initially, scholars were only at two universities in Texas, but the foundation has grown substantially and now funds scholars at 13 public universities in Texas.

“The Terry Foundation has given me the courage to believe in myself,” said Tapia.

Over the course of the last two months, Tapia has been been awarded four other merit-based scholarships, which combined with the Terry Scholarship, will enable her to completely fund her education with enough money left over to pay for her living expenses.

“This is such a blessing, but I also see it as a big responsibility,” said Tapia “I want to give back to the community, maintain high academic standards, and prove to my sponsors that they've made a good investment. I plan on continuing to devote as much time as possible to volunteerism. The causes that I particularly have an interest for are women in S.T.E.M., refugees, first-generation college student mentorship, and family violence survivors. I do not know how I could have afforded the opportunity to continue helping my community without the generosity of the Terry Foundation.”

“One thing that I think is important to share with other NCTC students is that no matter where you come from, or what your personal circumstances are, you can do anything you set your mind to and work hard for,” added Tapia. “I do not know many mothers who are attending college, but we need more, especially more Latinas!”