Tucson, AZ (PRWEB) June 17, 2011
It was only a year ago that the concept of the Metro-Harkin Scholarship was hatched: a unique program that would pay for one complete year of schooling at Pima Community College for one deserving Tucson high school graduate. Twelve months later, the Scholarship has been established, funds have been raised, and Terrence Peel-Charles has been awarded the first ever Metro-Harkin Scholarship for the 2011-2012 academic year.
The Metro-Harkin Scholarship is open to any graduating Tucson high school student. The aim of the Scholarship is to provide a higher education for hard-working and hard-studying individuals who might not otherwise have the means to attend college. The Scholarship was created by Sean Storer, owner of Metro Car Wash (http://www.metrocarwash.com), and Jeremy Harkin a high school English teacher.
“We had a lot of great applicants,” said Storer, who was also a member of the committee that selected the recipient. “There were interesting stories, unique backgrounds – a bunch of deserving kids, really. The selection process was difficult, but in the end, Terrence was the clear winner.”
Terrence Peel-Charles (18) is a recent graduate of Marana High School. He earned a 3.4 GPA, was active in Key Club, volunteered for various charity events including Aids Walk and the Special Olympics, and worked part time as an after-school Classified Enrichment Instructor. Perhaps most notably, Terrence received an opportunity his Junior Year to participate as a foreign exchange student in Germany. He didn’t know the language, had never taken a German class, and knew no one in the Country. Still, none of this stopped him from packing his bags, leaving the comforts of his family and friends, and heading to Europe for a year of his life – an intimidating scenario for anyone, but an experience that helped him grow significantly into adulthood.
“Living in Germany helped me learn things about myself I didn’t even know,” says Terrence. “The most difficult task in my life was to grasp the German language. I had to learn German at a very fast pace to survive at school. I got home from class, took out my homework and my German-to-English dictionary and translated the whole assignment for hours on end until I understood it.”
In addition to challenging him educationally, Terrence claims the experience has also made him “a more worldly person”, more aware of cultural differences (and how to navigate those barriers), and more understanding of what it means to be alone and have only yourself to depend on. These, in turn, have now shaped his goals for the future.
“I came back to America with something to prove to myself,” says Terrence. “I’ve learned there is really no challenge I can’t handle. I want to become a doctor, hopefully one that can travel abroad. And I’m not going to let any obstacles get in my way, financial or otherwise.”
Terrence is now planning to attend Pima Community College for two years before transferring to the University of Arizona. He is extremely grateful for the Metro-Harkin Scholarship, a program that will pay entirely for his first two semesters at Pima. In addition to his own education, Terrence also holds a part time job teaching children in an after-school program (holding a part time job during the academic year is a requirement of the Metro Scholarship).
The Metro-Harkin Scholarship is funded by Metro Car Wash, as well as through donations they receive. Last year, the Company raised the lion’s share of the Fund by hosting Tucson’s first ever “Zombie Car Wash.” The charity event turned Metro’s Speedway location into a haunted theme-ride for one week in October and was met with rave reviews. The Company is planning on another Zombie Car Wash this fall; this time around Terrence will be helping.
Terrence’s selection as the Scholarship Winner was based on a committee’s cumulative score that was comprised of his grades, his scholastic attendance record, extracurricular participation, two essays, and a final interview. The Metro-Harkin Scholarship is open to all Tucson graduating high school students. Information and application instructions can be found at http://www.metrocarwash.com, http://www.metroscholarship.com, Pima Community College Foundation, or at either of the Metro Car Wash locations.