Jonathan Dedmon said being a community scholar not only made him a better student but a better person as well.
Dedmon, a sophomore strategic communication major, said being a community scholar made him more mindful of the college experience when first coming to the university.
Dedmon heard about the program from Assistant Director of Student Affairs Timeka Gordon when she came to visit Paul Laurence Dunbar High School a couple of years ago.
He said Gordon was very helpful and explained the impact of the Community Scholars program.
“Gordon explained to us the importance of applying for the program and for minority students to apply to the resources that are offered to us,” Dedmon said.
He said he felt like he would have missed out on a good opportunity if he did not apply for the program.
Kelsey Peterson, a sophomore social work major, said she heard of the program when someone from the university came to speak to her junior and senior class at O.D. Wyatt High School.
“I always knew I wanted to go to college, but TCU Community Scholars actually provided me with a good resource to attend college by helping me with financial strain and giving me a program that I could be a part of,” Dedmon said.
Peterson said the program had completely changed her outlook on freedom in college.
“Being a community scholar, you get to have your freedom and fun, but it also keeps you focused so that you are able to academically achieve,” Peterson said.
Dedmon said the program has encouraged him to be a proactive student and has helped him with skills and tools he will be able to use in the future.
Both Dedmon and Peterson said being community scholars has made them more involved students within the community.
“We’re required to do community service and be a part of the community, but it [TCU Community Scholars] gives us that extra push factor to make us want to do community service on our own,” Dedmon said.
He said the program has pushed him to achieve and makes him want to go back to his community to make a positive change.
Peterson said she was not involved much in her freshman year but is becoming more involved academically and socially this year.
“Community Scholars has definitely helped me balance my academics and social life and manage my time with both of them,” Peterson said.
Dedmon said he felt there are both negative and positive stereotypes of community scholars on campus.
“I feel some students think that the community scholars are on some sort of crutch and feel like we have special privileges,” Dedmon said.
He said he feels some students are closed-minded about the program and do not see all it has to offer.
Peterson said she had not heard any negative comments and felt many students did not know much about community scholars.