While I was on the Lake Highlands High School campus Friday, I happened upon the entire counseling staff, celebrating in their offices like there was a party going on. They’d just gotten word that Tuan Iang, a particularly adorable and incredibly hard-working graduating senior had just been granted the Rose/Silverthorne Foundation Scholarship, a full ride to any Texas state public school.
Tuan plans to study pre-med at the University of Texas at Dallas. The Rose/Silverthorne grant will pay for all tuition, books, room and board and is valued at $32,000. To be selected, Tuan had to demonstrate her good grades, financial need and contributions to the school & community. She also pledged to be drug and alcohol free.
“Tuan is such a deserving student,” said her LHHS counselor, Veta Parker, who has written 25 recommendation letters on her behalf. “She has been in the counseling office throughout the year searching for scholarship opportunities and has earned $93,000 in scholarship funds! She has definitely earned every dime.”
Ms. Parker told me she’s become very attached to Tuan in the process. “She is a one-in-a-million student. I wish that I could clone her,” she joked. “She has a contagious smile and personality…she simply lights up a room with her presence.”
“She’s admired and respected by the other students,” counselor Paula Moore added. “When we went into class to give Tuan the good news, the other students were very happy for her.”
Though she’s earned many different scholarships, none of the funds will be wasted, according to lead counselor and scholarship veteran Pam Mitchell. “Some of the funds can be used on the additional costs of college, and some may even go toward her graduate studies since she wants to go to medical school.”
In addition to working 20 hours a week, “Tuan has been an advocate for herself and her family, always checking on her younger siblings’ grades and translating for her parents.” Now that she has the money to go to college and live on campus, maybe Tuan can focus on herself for awhile. I’d say she’s earned it.