Tuesday, October 23, 2018 – The TCC Foundation hosted the annual scholarship luncheon, a chance for donors and scholarship recipients to meet and break bread. This year, we awarded 247 scholarships for $446,000.
First Steps Fully Funded
First Generation Scholar Tracie Bonjour
Human Services program student Tracie Bonjour was pleased when her award letter arrived from the TCC Foundation. She knew it meant she’d been given some money to help with school – maybe $500 or so, she hoped. When you’re raising three kids, working, and going to school, every little bit helps.
Then she opened the letter. And she discovered that she’d been awarded a First Generation Scholarship, which covers the cost of two full years at TCC. It even includes a quarterly $300 stipend for books.
“I couldn’t believe it was a full scholarship,” said Tracie. “It’s been such a burden lifted off of our family -- it’s a huge gift.”
Tracie heard about the TCC Foundation from a friend who attended TCC and encouraged her to apply for Foundation scholarships. Through the application process, she learned that because she was the first person in her family to attend college, she was eligible for the First Generation scholarship. Now she’s encouraging her fellow Human Services students to apply. She tells them not to be intimidated by the fact that the application involves writing a short essay.
I think the word ‘essay’ really threw them. But if it’s a matter of your entire degree being paid for, you might as well at least try!”
Tracie is already working as a chemical dependency professional. TCC’s Human Services program is set up so that you can get your Chemical Professional Trainee License early in the program and start working in the field right away.
“I’m working with people who are in recovery, people who would identify as addicts,” said Tracie. “That’s my plan, to continue working while I’m in school.”
But she also plans to take her career much further. Her instructors helped her explore options within the field of Human Services, and now she plans to transfer to Evergreen Tacoma or University of Washington Tacoma to complete her 4-year degree. After that, she may complete a Master’s degree. Eventually, she’d like to be one of the people training human services and social services practitioners.
“Pursuing an education has been my goal for years. It’s something I am doing for myself and it took me a long time to get here,” said Tracie.
Tracie put off going to school because she didn’t think she’d be able to afford it.
“I thought I didn’t have the time, I thought we didn’t have the money, I was intimidated by the homework commitment,” said Tracie. “It takes you a little while to find your footing, but you develop a rhythm, and you might be pleasantly surprised by how awesome you do. Our life is busy, but it’s brought me a lot of confidence to see that I can do this.”