Texas high school grad surprised with TWU’s biggest scholarship

It’s a prize befitting a top scholar, and, fittingly, one Northeast Texas high school graduate got the surprise of her life when she learned she earned it.

In front of a crowd of some 300 fellow students at Jefferson High School, I’Tasia Rainge was awarded Texas Woman’s Chancellor’s Endowed Scholarship — the university’s most coveted and the one with the largest monetary value.

2024 Texas Woman’s Chancellor’s Endowed Scholarship winner I’Tasia Rainge and her family

The scholarship covers tuition and fees and other expenses for four years, and is valued at roughly $60,000. Texas Woman’s offers one such scholarship a year, typically to a Texas high school graduate with an outstanding record of service, extracurricular activity and academic achievement. Besides the monetary award, Chancellor Carine Feyten will serve as Rainge’s mentor during her time at TWU.

Rainge plans to enroll at TWU in fall 2024, and will pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

By virtually any measure, Rainge is a star pupil.

Here is a sampling of her accomplishments during her years at Jefferson High School:

  • She served as president of the National Honor Society, Student Council, Health Occupations Students of America, and her junior and senior classes.
  • She was a member of the Student Health Advisory Committee and the National Technical Honors Society.
  • She is the flute section leader for the Jefferson High School Band.
  • She has held jobs as a Certified Nurse’s Aide, a patient care technician, at an after-school education center and at a bakery.
  • She has performed volunteer service delivering Christmas gifts to disadvantaged children; crafted blankets and delivered them to nursing homes and animal shelters; delivered food and clothing to the homeless, and participated in various other charitable events aimed at bringing comfort and aid to underserved groups.
  • She earned a 4.28 high school GPA and a 3.9 GPA under the dual credit program with Panola College.

The scholarship was awarded May 17 during a high school assembly in the Northeast Texas town of Jefferson, about 200 miles east of Denton. Although other awards were presented during the assembly, Rainge had no idea she would be awarded the scholarship, or that any representatives from Texas Woman’s would be there in person to present it to her.

Javier Flores, TWU’s vice president for enrollment management, presented the award to Rainge, who appeared genuinely moved by the presentation and the reaction of her classmates.

He said Rainge was a perfect match for Texas Woman’s, as she and the university share ideas focused on leadership and service.

Rainge comes from a single-parent home, and was raised to appreciate that a strong work ethic and tenacity are virtues that will help with career success. She chose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing at Texas Woman’s because she has an interest in becoming a traveling pediatric nurse practitioner.

In her application for admission to Texas Woman’s, she made clear what motivates her when she wrote:

“My mom really shaped me into the person I am today. My mom is a single mother, who served in the Army until she had my brother and I, and now works as a Certified Nurses’ Aide. My whole life I’ve gotten to watch my mom work and experience the compassion and care she shows to her patients. That made me realize that I want a career in healthcare and that I wanted to help people, specifically babies, in need.”

Compelling words indeed. And quite fitting for a top scholar.

Page last updated 9:40 AM, May 20, 2024