Four NTCC students win STAR Scholarships


Winners pictured (from left): Jalyn English, Hannah Barnes, Elisabeth Lively and Maritza Quinones. 

Four members of Alpha Mu Chi, NTCC’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, won 4 of 13 prestigious Texas regional scholarships given out the weekend of the Texas Honors Institute. The Dr. Mary Hood Texas STAR Scholarships are available to members of Phi Theta Kappa throughout the state of Texas. 

Hannah Barnes, from Marietta, is an Elementary and Special Education who runs two small businesses, an at-home bakery and crafts business, as well as helping with her father’s appliance repair business. She is an Honors Scholar, Eagle Staff Member, and a member of the Farm Team in the Work4College Program. Upon learning of her win, Hannah commented: “The only guarantee you won't win a scholarship is if you don't try. College is expensive, no matter what you come from. Don't think you don't deserve that same chance as everyone else.” 

Jalyn English, born in Dallas, spent most of his life in Bogata, Texas. He came to NTCC to study computer science and become a game designer. He served as a producer and actor for the 8th Annual NTCC Honors Film which won him the Caldwell Award. He currently serves as director for this year’s Honors Film. He won the Chitsey Award for his Academic Performance in Honors classes. An active member of Phi Theta Kappa for almost a year, he recently became a Chapter Vice-President.

Barnes and English both received the $250 STAR Scholarship.

Maritza Quinones, of Mount Pleasant, is a nursing major and Presidential Honors Scholar. She plans to transfer to a university next fall to obtain her bachelors of nursing. Currently, she works part time as a CNA at TRMC. “I’ve been working overtime during this pandemic with the covid-19 patients. On my spare time I enjoy working out. My career goal is to one day become an OBGYN and provide quality care for women during pregnancy and childbirth.” Her advice to others is “Dream big, stay focused, and make it happen." 

Quinones received the $750 Dr. Melissa Fulgham STAR Scholarship.

Elisabeth Lively noted that "Every time the scholarship announcer said 'Alpha Mu Chi', I had a mini heart attack. NTCC had so many recipients of the award, that by the time he said my name, my heart was out of attacks. I sat quietly in my chair and thought, 'Woah, that's me.' I whimpered a shout to whoever in the house could hear me that I had received the scholarship. It's unfortunate that I was unable to attend the Texas Honors Institute in person, but I am grateful for this scholarship, nonetheless, so that I may continue supporting my education. I want to give a huge shout out to Andrea Reyes who helped me polish up my application by making me realize how much potential I had and what an impact I've had on college and community."

Lively is majoring in Communications with a focus on journalism. She is editor-in-chief of The Eagle newspaper, where she has been working since fall 2018. She is a children's teacher at her church, which she is an active member of. Lively recently began volunteering at the Titus County Cares food pantry and Mount Pleasant Animal Services and Adoption Center. She said she has found a passion in volunteering and plans to continue pursuing it. She is also a full-time babysitter for her brother due to the COVID-19 pandemic's closing of schools and summer programs. Lively's career goal is to become a Walt Disney Imagineer, which is a designer of assorted Disney property.

Lively won the $1,000 Dr. Yolando Romera STAR Scholarship.

Including the four students who won this year, NTCC’s Alpha Mu Chi members have won 20 Texas Regional STAR Scholarships.

Previous recipients of Texas Regional STAR Scholarships include (2019): Tonya Hammonds, Courtney Baldwin, Jacob Lambie, Jazmin Garcia, Verania Leyva-Garza; (2018) Hannah Dickson, Rhylie Anderson; (2017) Rachel Jordan, Brenda Godoy; (2016) Emmalea Shaw; (2015) Angelica Fuentes; (2014) Kayleah Cumpian, Tyler Reynolds; (2013) Stephen Milburn; (2012) Cory Myers; (2011) John Herron.

To learn more about Phi Theta Kappa or the Alpha Mu Chi Chapter visit or email Chapter meetings are held every Tuesday at 1:00 via Zoom and all interested individuals are welcome to attend.