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WC student advances from 6th grade education to college honor society

Jay Love photoThree years ago, Jay Love decided to change his life.

After working 19 years for the United States Postal Service with a sixth-grade education, Love began working toward his GED.

“I felt unfulfilled and that I was meant for a greater purpose,” Love said. “I had always wanted a career in the medical field, but due to my education status I never believed that it was a possibility.”

After completing his GED, Love began working on prerequisite courses for the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Weatherford College. He is now in his fourth semester of the program, vice president of WC’s Student Occupational Therapy Association and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

He was recently selected as a 2020 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar and as a 2020 Trustmark Workforce Development Scholar, which both came with scholarships to continue his education.  

“I believe wanting a change in my life and a new career path has helped me remain focused and motivated,” Love said. “I never imagined that I would be a college student much less have the academic success that I currently have. I have been able to show myself that all things are possible if you want it bad enough.”Jay and Shantee photo

As a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, Love was able to compete in a scholarship pool totaling nearing $90 million for students working toward associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

“With nearly $46 million worth of transfer scholarships offered by nearly 800 four-year colleges across the country, our Phi Theta Kappa students can earn the financial support to continue their education,” said Shantee Siebuhr, advisor for WC’s Phi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. “By simply becoming a member, our students get instant access to merit-based scholarships when they transfer. For instance, when a Phi Theta Kappa student applies to attend Tarleton State University, they are automatically awarded a $500 scholarship per semester simply for being a PTK member.”

The local Phi Chapter’s membership rate increased by 18 percent in 2019 and surpassed last year’s membership as of July 2020. It is the oldest chapter of the honor society in Texas.

“Our students are seeing the value and benefits that their hard work earned them and they are utilizing every perk to be successful,” Siebuhr said. “Jay is an inspiring example of a student who didn’t let his primary education define whether he could be successful in getting a degree. He took the steps necessary to chart a new path and we couldn’t be prouder.”