From Tyler Junior College:
The first group of Rusk TJC Citizens Promise Program Scholars is preparing to join the fall 2014 freshman class at Tyler Junior College.
Established in February, the Rusk TJC Citizens Promise is one of only 23 promise programs in the United States and the first such initiative in Texas. For each qualifying student who graduates in the top half of the class, the Rusk TJC Citizens Promise initiative covers $4,000 per year — for two years — at TJC.
The 55 eligible Rusk High School seniors were introduced this morning during a special event in the school’s auditorium.
Funded through gifts and pledges from Citizens 1st Bank, The James I. Perkins Family Foundation and others, the program is a partnership between TJC, the TJC Foundation, Rusk ISD, Citizens 1st Bank and the Perkins Family Foundation
“The Rusk TJC Citizens Promise is off to a raring start,” said TJC President Mike Metke. “What was once an idea is now a reality that will have a lasting impact on the lives of Rusk students and their families for years to come.”
Studies of similar promise programs in other parts of the nation show marked improvement in schools, including increased enrollment and retention, higher test scores and graduation rates, and have created a college-going culture among students, with more enrolling in college after high school.
The program’s success also extends to the community at large, with an economic boom created by more families relocating to promise communities.
“We are fortunate to partner with the nation’s best junior college — Tyler Junior College — and announce this life-changing and economic engine for the Rusk community,” said James I. Perkins, Citizens 1st Bank president and chairman of the board.
“We look forward to watching this program grow and thrive and continue to improve the lives of Rusk students, their families an East Texas,” Metke said.
For more information about the Rusk TJC Promise, go to www.tjc.edu/ruskpromise .