TNCC Student Named Coca-Cola Bronze Scholar


Published: April 8, 2010

A Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) Nursing student has been selected as a 2010 Coca-Cola Bronze Scholar. Donna Terry was selected based on scores earned in the All-USA Academic Team competition sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and administered by Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society.

As a Bronze Scholar, Terry will be listed among gold and silver scholars in a special section of USA Today and she will receive $1,000.

Terry, who is set to graduate in May, asserts that sitting on the couch simply thinking about achieving a goal won’t make it happen. For the longest time she used to think about taking steps toward a lifelong dream of becoming a nurse and just kept putting it off; but that changed in 2007 when she enrolled at TNCC.

She said the effects of an empty nest when the U.S. Air Force transferred her son out of the state and a poignant sermon by Joel Osteen that she saw on television were catalysts in her decision to finally pursue nursing. She recalled an excerpt from that sermon: “‘If the Lord had put something on your heart to do and it has been on your mind your entire life, get up and do it. God will never put something on you and have it stay with you your entire life if you were not capable of doing it,’” said Osteen.

Those words incited Terry to act and her fervor for Nursing hasn’t waned since. She maintains strong study and work ethics, has a 3.87 grade point average and holds membership in TNCC’s Phi Sigma chapter of PTK. Terry is also in the Nursing Honors Program, Student Nurse Association and was elected class ambassador last year. She acts as a cheerleader of sorts for her fellow Nursing classmates routinely emailing notes of encouragement to them. In 2009, she organized a ceremony at TNCC during which first-year nursing students received stripes as recognition that they completed the program’s first phase. The College had not conducted a Striping Ceremony in roughly seven years, Terry said.

“I thought it was very important to bring that back as a way to encourage my fellow students. I gave a small speech that night on the history of the Striping Ceremony. To be up on that stage, looking out on my fellow classmates, I felt so proud of them all. I knew that they felt proud also. The Nursing program is very hard and it consumes every part of your life. We needed that one night to encourage us and to bring camaraderie. And, it did,” she added.

As graduation day nears, Terry is excited about all aspects of the Nursing profession but plans to specialize in cardiac care. Also included in the Newport News resident’s plans is furthering her education at Virginia Commonwealth University to eventually earn Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

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