In Profile: AEC's John Hawley first in his family to become a college graduate
John Hawley is living proof that if you work hard anything is possible. Growing up, Hawley faced tremendous adversity, pushing him away from success. In May, he will be the first person in his immediate family to graduate from a university.
"Doing well in school was never really encouraged in my household, but it was something I grasped on to when my family experienced poverty starting the year I entered middle school," he said. "I wanted to be better than the life I was handed and I have always felt God wanted me to do great things for him, even though I should listen to him far more than I do."
Hawley was one of the first Terry scholars interviewed for selection at Texas Tech, which makes him a part of the inaugural class of 2011. The Terry Foundation is a Houston-based scholarship program founded to provide scholarships to outstanding Texas high school graduates for attendance at public colleges and universities within the state. Based on students' answers to the application questions as well as the scholarship application for the university, students are nominated to become scholarship candidates.
"With my family in poverty, there would have been no way to attend college without a full-ride scholarship, and that is exactly what the foundation gave to me," he said. "They gave me a life, an outlet and better future than the one that was handed to me."
First-year scholar qualifications include a record of leadership in school and their community, financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and show strong academic abilities as evidenced by grades, class rank and ACT or SAT scores. The application includes two essays and two letters of professional recommendation from teachers or employers who are non-family members.
Like most Texas Tech students, Hawley is a huge supporter of the Red Raider sports teams. He loves to attend basketball, football and baseball games. In addition to being in the Honors College, he works as a production coordinator at CEV Multimedia, is president of the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow and an active member of the Texas Tech Terry Scholars.
He hopes to graduate from the masters' program he chooses in 2017 and begin work within the agricultural industry, or earn a doctorate in either agricultural communications or public relations. He has been accepted to earn a Master of Science in agricultural systems technology at Utah State University. He is waiting on an application to Kansas State University before making his final decision.
"I'm still far from perfect, but with the guidance of so many helpful and caring advisers, I have stayed on the path that was so generously presented to me," Hawley said. "It was unthinkable just two years ago, but I am now on a path which will lead me to attending graduate school in the fall of 2015."
Written by Zoe Bell
CONTACT: Steven Fraze, Chair, Department of Agricultural Education and Communications, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2816 or firstname.lastname@example.org
0414NM15 / Editor's Note: For full text of story, go to http://tidings.ttu.edu/posts/2015/03/student-spotlight-john-hawley