TCC’s tagline is Success Within Reach. Our latest graduates have reached that milestone in their educational journey at TCC. In this series, we want to introduce you to some of them.
After Matthew Jewell graduated from high school, he planned to go to The University of Texas at Austin. He was accepted, registered for classes, did it all, but pay his tuition. “For some reason, something was holding me back,” he said. “A fear of the unknown, I guess you could say.” He chose to work at a local grocery store, saving money for when he was ready to go to college.
“My family and I could not afford for me to go to a university,” he said. He also was the first in his family to go to college since his grandmother, so he felt a lot of pressure to do that and make his family proud. “I could not let them down. Sadly, I choked. I didn’t pay my tuition at UT Austin, nor did I have a backup plan after high school.”
Enter Mom. Matthew’s mother told him about TCC and encouraged him “to get back on the saddle.”
Matthew agreed. “The number one reason for wanting to go to TCC was its affordability, and it gave me the same education as a four-year institution.”
Because he got back in the saddle with TCC, Matthew now will be receiving two degrees, an Associate of Arts and an Associate of Science. He plans to transfer those credits to a four-year institution to work on his bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science.
Since coming to TCC, Matthew says he can attribute the College for a lot of his accomplishments over the last two years. “Some of the greatest accomplishments would have to be from being involved on a chapter, regional and international level in my local Phi Theta Kappa (Honor Society) chapter,” he said. “Beta Delta Omicron has given me so many opportunities this year that I cannot thank them enough for their support in my success. PTK helped me receive more than $2,000 dollars in scholarships, as well as be a distinguished regional officer and even speak in front of thousands of people.
Additionally, PTK provided Matthew with the skills and experience that gave him the courage to apply to prestigious scholarships such as the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation scholarship. He was named a semi-finalist out of the 1,700 applicants. He also is in the running for the Chancellor scholarship at Texas Christian University.
Matthew has plans beyond his bachelor’s degree. “I have such a passion for biology that I plan to go with my Bachelor of Environmental Science to the University of North Texas Health Science Center to get a Master of Public Health,” he said. “I would love to work in regulatory affairs and a sector of public health that ultimately regulates laws and restrictions on drugs and medications. Soon after my time in regulatory affairs I want to work as a professor to help young minds achieve great things.”