TSC sonography alumnus finishes strong thanks to Foundation scholarship

Texas Southmost College gave first-generation college graduate Zachary Hunt the financial help he needed to break barriers for his family, including a TSC Finish Strong scholarship.

With a lifelong interest in pursuing a career in the medical field, the 20-year-old earned his associate degree in diagnostic medical sonography in May 2020 and is now a diagnostic sonographer at Knapp Medical Center in Weslaco.

“I couldn’t believe how fast I found a job, and most importantly, in my field,” said Hunt. “This has been a very proud moment in time for me and my parents. Their goal was to see me graduate college and TSC made that possible.”

About two semesters before graduating, the Harlingen native was awarded a $1,200 Finish Strong scholarship by the TSC Foundation.

The TSC Foundation assists students with scholarships, promotes special projects at the college and enhances the quality of education and opportunity for the community.

Hunt said after a long string of part-time retail jobs, this scholarship allowed him to breathe easier because it alleviated financial stress.

“I was finally able to worry less about money and more about my studies,” he said. “Thanks to TSC and its Foundation I was able to actually ‘finish strong.’”

He added that he had exhausted his tuition savings and making $8 an hour on the weekends was not nearly enough; so money was tight.

“For students in the health profession like me, this money not only covers tuition, but also helps fund our board exams,” said Hunt. “Each test has a fee and having this extra money helps because in order to work, we must get licensed. So really, these scholarships help in more ways than one.”

In addition to the Finish Strong scholarship, Hunt was also awarded a Thomas H. Sweeney, Jr. and Eloise Ely Sweeny Endowment scholarship in the amount of $250.

These scholarships are awarded only to TSC sophomores pursuing a degree from the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program and who hold a cumulative grade-point average of 2.5 or higher.

“There really are endless opportunities for students at TSC,” said Hunt. “From scholarship opportunities to advanced training and experienced instructors, you can’t go wrong.”

Hunt credits a lot of his success to his sonography instructors who prepared him for a seamless transition into the workforce.

“As a student in the program, you get everything you need to succeed,” said Hunt. “Faculty sets our standards high and it’s our job to exceed them, and we do because of the program’s relevant training and their desire to see us achieve greatness. They always push us to be better.”

From training on industry-standard equipment to completing and reviewing mock board exams, Hunt said he was confident to jump at the opportunity presented to him at Knapp Medical Center and is pursuing additional certifications in his field.

By year’s end, Hunt hopes to have certifications in abdominal sonography and obstetrics and gynecology sonography.

He hopes to one day earn a license in vascular technology and pursue a bachelor’s in Applied Technology.

“I will forever and always be an advocate for TSC,” said Hunt. “It changed my life and gave me the tools I need for a career that will support me for the rest of my life.”

Visit the TSC Foundation for more information about the organization and how to become a donor.