First-year student wins Dr. Pepper tuition giveaway at Big 12 Championship

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Thanks to Dr. Pepper, one TCU student won’t have to worry about tuition anymore.

Jazlyn Rodriguez, a first-year comparative race and ethnic studies major, won Dr. Pepper’s $100,000 tuition giveaway during halftime of Saturday’s Big 12 Football Championship.

Jazlyn Rodriguez Hernandez wins $100,000 at Big 12 Championship thanks to Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. ( Brandon Wade/AP Images for Dr Pepper)

The challenge was to see which of the two contestants could throw the most footballs in a giant soda can in 30 seconds, and Rodriguez outscored her opponent by nine, 17-8.

Rodriguez practiced for about 30 minutes a day since the week she found out. She would set up five footballs on a chair next to her, go through warmups and have one of TCU’s football players monitor her to make sure she keeps proper form.

She discovered the competition when she was applying for scholarships last year, but it was too late to apply.

In order to participate, Rodriguez and other candidates had to submit a video explaining how the tuition money will help them make an impact in the world. In her video, she explains how coming from a low-income family had shaped her.

“I decided to do this because I took a leap of faith by choosing to attend TCU,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve been paying for school on my own and I know that my family wishes that they could support me financially. This opportunity lifts up so many burdens not only from my shoulders, but the shoulders of my loved ones around me who also wish they could financially support my education.”

In her video, Rodriguez spoke about her loved ones and the impact of growing up the daughter of a single parent — the person who has pushed her to get her to where she is now.

“I wanted to make sure the viewers felt really comfortable with me; I acted like I was talking to someone who I knew well,” she said.

Jazlyn Rodriguez Hernandez wins $100,000 at Big 12 Championship thanks to Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. ( Brandon Wade/AP Images for Dr Pepper)

In the time leading up to her shining moment, Rodriguez said she prayed, took slow breaths and listened to her favorite songs to keep her in a good mood.

Above everything, she made sure to thank God for everything he’s done for her.

“I wish other students like me could experience it. I just took a risk to go there. We put that leap of faith in front of me and God did provide,” Rodriguez said in an interview with Mullen High School.