Jessica Tovias has been selected as the Lone Star College-North Harris winner of the Lone Star College Foundation’s 24th Annual Student Essay Challenge. Tovias was one of six Lone Star College students selected for the award and a $1,000 scholarship. She presented her essay to approximately 250 education supporters at the annual Lone Star College Foundation Chancellor’s Breakfast on Jan. 31.
Before graduating from Carver High School in 2015, she, like many soon-to-be high school graduates, was asking, “Where do I go from here?”
Fortunately, Tovias and a group of seniors from her high school decided to take a field trip to visit LSC-North Harris. To her surprise, when she arrived on campus, she felt that this was not an ordinary community college. She felt very comfortable at the tranquil campus, and after her visit, could envision herself taking classes there. That, coupled with the fact that the campus was close to home, helped solidify her decision that LSC-North Harris was the right choice for her.
Tovias enrolled and currently attends Lone Star College-North Harris and Lone Star College-Greenspoint Center, where she is majoring in Kinesiology. In her spare time outside of the classroom, she enjoys working out and boxing.
Tovias, the oldest sibling in her family and first in her family to attend college, felt added pressure to do well to make her family, especially her mom, proud. Although she was excited to start college, she faced some challenges.
“Coming into LSC-North Harris, I did not feel prepared to take on all of my classes, especially algebra,” said Tovias. “I did not meet the requirements in order to take college algebra, but my advisor suggested taking a block class, which was a combination of intermediate and college algebra.” Tovias was worried about how she was going to be able to pass this class that had two semesters worth of material in just one semester.
After reassurance from her advisor, she enrolled and never looked back. Although she dreaded the first few algebra classes because the coursework was difficult for her, she stuck it out. Knowing that Tovias had some concerns, her advisor suggested that she visit the college’s Math Achievement Center, which offers free tutoring services to students.
Tovias soon began to notice that the math tutoring was paying off for her, and as the semester went by, she began to fall in love with math. Finally feeling comfortable enough in the subject, she reached out to some of her classmates and even began their own study group for the class.
“That was the first time I had ever been in a study group and it was tremendously helpful. I passed this class and even received a certificate for recognition of achievement for extraordinary work in the class! After that, I knew that I could overcome any obstacle,” added Tovias.
After successfully completing her first year at LSC-North Harris, Tovias found herself doing something out of the ordinary for her; registering for summer classes.
“For me summer had always been about getting a break from school, but attending LSC-North Harris changed my perception about the importance of education,” said Tovias. “It has taught me how to think critically, communicate clearly and most importantly, prioritize.”
When Tovias finishes her Associate of Applied Science degree at LSC-North Harris, she plans on transferring to the University of Houston to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degree, with hopes of being a physical therapist.
“Lone Star College challenged me as an individual and helped me see the value in education. I believe that I have become more responsible, especially when it comes to decision making. When I first started college, I did not know what career path I wanted to pursue. Now, just one short year later, I know what subjects I enjoy the most, and I know that I want to become a physical therapist to help others,” she said.
Tovias strongly believes that getting a quality education will take you where you want to go in life. After starting her second year of classes this semester, she is a ready to take on the future with a new, confident mind-set.
“I believe a college education can help you make the most out of life,” said Tovias. “Don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and take the next step of going to college. Whether you know what you want to be or not, LSC-North Harris is the right place to figure it out.”
Lone Star College-North Harris is located at 2700 W.W. Thorne Drive, one-half mile south of FM 1960 East, between Aldine-Westfield and Hardy Roads. For more information about the college, call 281.618.5400 or visit LoneStar.edu/NorthHarris.
Lone Star College offers high-quality, low-cost academic transfer and career training education to 98,000 students each semester. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to support student success. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., serves as chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area with an annual economic impact of $3.1 billion. LSC consists of six colleges, eight centers, two university centers, Lone Star Corporate College and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.
Jessica Tovias.jpg Cutline: Jessica Tovias has been selected as the Lone Star College-North Harris winner of the Lone Star College Foundation’s 24th Annual Student Essay Challenge.