At age 16 homeschooled student Gabriel Culver was finished with his high school curriculum, but he and his parents weren’t ready for him to make the move to a four-year university. Culver described their decision to enroll him at Lone Star College-Tomball in 2008 as “one of the best decisions we have ever made” and this week it has paid off toward a continuing future in higher education.
Culver, along with one student from each of the five LSC campuses, was selected as an Essay Contest and $1,000 scholarship winner as part of a competition sponsored by the Lone Star College Foundation. The winners were honored during the 17th Annual LSC Foundation Chancellor’s Breakfast held Wednesday.
The event brings donors, community partners and LSC system employees together with scholarship recipients as they share their life experiences and the impact that being a Lone Star College student has had on them.
Culver, who began homeschooling in the sixth grade, said that his experience at LSC-Tomball mirrored the one-on-one teaching he received at home with his mother more than he could have anticipated.
“I had the unique opportunity of getting to know my professors in a smaller, more intimate environment, and they were invested in my success,” said Culver in his winning essay. “I also have developed close personal friendships with people from all walks of life. I’ve learned to appreciate people’s differences, opinions and personalities, and I will continue relationships with many of these people long after I leave Tomball.”
Culver, who has taken general courses at LSC-Tomball and will transfer to four year college Dallas Baptist University in Fall, 2010, said that his initial drive to do well at LSC-Tomball was the result of a financial deal with his parents.
“My parents agreed to pay for my classes and books as long as I made A’s; any other grade would result in me having to pay them back for the class,” said Culver. “I’ve only made one B; but my success can be attributed a great deal to the outstanding teachers at Lone Star. I have taken several classes in which I would have made significantly lower grades had it not been for the additional time and tutoring provided by professors. Had I taken those classes at a university, I likely never would have had the opportunity to receive one-on-one private help from a professor in order to excel in a class. But at Lone Star, every professor I’ve had has taken a personal interest in my education. They truly want students to succeed, whether they’re working toward an associate’s degree or planning to transfer to a larger university. “
Culver’s current Algebra professor Mindy Coleman, who has known him since he’s been a student at LSC-Tomball, said she isn’t surprised at all that he was chosen as an LSC Foundation essay and scholarship winner.
“Gabe is very committed and dedicated to learning all subjects,” said Coleman. “His enthusiasm and desire for knowledge make him an excellent student and role model to others. He faces each class as a challenge and continually holds himself to the highest standards–which is evident by his grades.”
Plus, said Coleman, he’s just an “all around great person.”
Lone Star College-Tomball is located at 30555 Tomball Parkway in Tomball.
The Lone Star College System consists of five colleges, including Cy-Fair, Kingwood, Montgomery, North Harris, and Tomball, six centers and Lone Star College-University Center. With 49,250 students, it is the largest college system in the Houston area, and third largest community college district in Texas. To learn more, visit http://www.lonestar.edu/.