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Terry Riggs of South Bend Earns “Realizing the Dream”

Terry Riggs of South Bend Earns “Realizing the Dream”

NOTRE DAME, IN  (October 31, 2011) -Terry Riggs, a 2010 graduate of South Bend Adams High School, has been named the "Realizing a Dream" Outstanding First Generation Student at Holy Cross College

To be eligible for the award, students must show outstanding work ethic and determination, and must be from a family whose parents have not completed college degrees.  A scholarship recipient is chosen by each of the 32 independent college campuses in Indiana.  Additionally,  award nominees are asked to nominate a mentor teacher who helped inspire them toward the dream of excelling college.

Terry is the son of Jerry Riggs of South Bend, and Valerie Norman who died while Terry was still in high school.  Terry credits Adams football coach and history teacher, Robert Harvey, for inspiring and supporting him through that difficult time.

"He is the epitome of a mentor," says Terry. "Whether it was a question over game film, school, or a personal matter, he was always there.  He was the first person at school to offer his condolences for the loss of my mother and he did his best to help me through it, and I will never forget that."

Ceremonies will be held on Saturday, November 5th at the Hilton Indianapolis North Hotel, 8181 N. Shadeland Ave., Indianapolis.  Media coverage for this event is welcomed, and no advance arrangements are necessary.  However, anyone interested in joining the honorees for dinner, please call Linda Meador at (317) 236-6090 x221 no later than noon, Friday, November 4th.

In acknowledging the award, Terry said, "They don't lie when they say 'hard work pays off'."  Being a first generation college student, I wanted to make going to college easy on my family, so I worked hard non-stop to get to this point.  It sincerely means a lot to me to see the hard work pay off.  I am honored to represent Holy Cross and my family in this way."

Made possible by a grant to the Independent Colleges of Indiana from the Lilly Endowment, "Realizing the Dream" recognizes the triumphs of first-generation students in their first year of college.  The student honorees are Indiana high school graduates who subsequently demonstrated superior academic performance during their first year of studies and exhibited leadership in campus or community activities.  A $2,000 grant will be mailed to the institution to be deposited into the student's account and applied toward the cost of his/her education.

The program also celebrates the roles played by teachers and parents in shaping student aspirations for a college education.  After being chosen by their college, the students then named the elementary or secondary teacher or counselor who most influenced them to attend college.  These mentors will each receive a $1,000 professional development award.

Terry, who hopes to coach football and possibly attend graduate school, says Holy Cross College is preparing him well.

"My experience at Holy Cross has helped me mature because they make it feel like home, but in a college setting," explains Terry.  "I am comfortable meeting with professors when they give up their personal time just to help, so I thank them for that as well.  Also, Holy Cross has helped me develop a voice that I can respectfully express, and I appreciate that as it is a necessity in today's world."

Attending the banquet in addition to the students, parents, and teachers will be special guests, presidents of the colleges, and the campus coordinators of the "Realizing the Dream" program.

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Holy Cross College is a Catholic, four-year, co-educational, liberal arts institution founded in 1966 by the Brothers of Holy Cross.  With a 13:1 faculty/student ratio, students find personal attention from professors who care about their success. The college focuses on the holistic development of the mind, body, and spirit.  Baccalaureate students must complete four requirements before graduation-a professional internship to develop their real-world qualifications, service experiences to develop their compassion, an international experience to expand their horizons, and a senior Capstone presentation to sum up their learning outcomes and attest to a panel of faculty and business leaders that they are ready for life after college. With a campus adjoining St. Mary's College and the University of Notre Dame, Holy Cross College provides the best of both worlds-a close-knit, small college atmosphere with the resources and social opportunities of a large university.