The University of Houston-Victoria High School Scholarship program is allowing a student to follow a family tradition.
UHV junior Ethelyn Oliver is the first student taking classes at UHV through the scholarship program. Once she graduates with a bachelor's in interdisciplinary studies, she hopes to get a job as a teacher and join more than 35 relatives on her mother's side of the family alone who have been teachers throughout the years.
"I love working with kids," said Oliver, who lives in Tuleta with her parents, Calvin and Dorothy Oliver. "If you teach them right and you see a light finally come on, you know you've done your job."
Oliver was one of six area high school students who received a $1,000 UHV High School Scholarship in 2006, the first year UHV handed out the awards, said Carolyn Mallory, UHV financial aid director. Those recipients have until 2011 to use the scholarships.
"We are so pleased Ethelyn has decided to further her education at UHV," Mallory said. "Scholarships are a way we can reach out to students and help them achieve their career goals."
The scholarship recipients were selected based on applications submitted to UHV. They had to have at least a 2.5 grade-point average, demonstrate a record of community service or involvement in extracurricular activities, and submit a letter of recommendation from a high school teacher.
Oliver graduated from Pettus High School, where she was involved in cheerleading, band, Spanish Club, National Honor Society and Student Council. She received numerous honors and recognitions, including perfect attendance and citizenship awards all four years of high school.
A school counselor suggested Oliver apply for a UHV High School Scholarship. Oliver already was familiar with UHV because she had visited the campus through a program to learn leadership skills. She wanted to attend college somewhere close to home.
Oliver received her associate degree from Coastal Bend College in Beeville before transferring to UHV this fall. She is taking 16 credit hours and said she is happy to be at UHV. Taking the majority of her classes online has allowed her to continue her job substitute teaching at Pettus High School while she attends college.
"UHV wasn't as expensive as some other colleges," she said. "This has been a great opportunity."
UHV gives about $735,000 in scholarships each year to students. For more information about scholarship opportunities, go to www.uhv.edu/ofa.