ETBU: As Wednesday deadline looms, scholarship money for local s - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

ETBU: As Wednesday deadline looms, scholarship money for local students nowhere to be found

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Student Billy Williams, center,  is one of the West Rusk students who hopes to attend ETBU this fall Student Billy Williams, center, is one of the West Rusk students who hopes to attend ETBU this fall

With just days left until the deadline for East Texas Baptist University to receive scholarship money that was promised to local high school students, parents said they are worried that the deal will not go through.

Back in May, a benefactor told West Rusk ISD students that if they met certain criteria, they could attend the university free of charge.

But as of Monday, neither the high school nor ETBU had heard from the man who is supposed to come up with the money.

Parent Daelynn Williams said she is still holding out, hoping it all does not fall through.

"I trust that God can work things out, and I think all of us hold on to that hope that it will," Williams said. "But I know that we also need to make other arrangements and see what our options are."

All three of Williams' sons graduated from West Rusk. Her youngest son Billy wants to be a lawyer, so for here, this gift was something she called a blessing.

"It's truly something that would really help," she said. "He's going to have a lot more college so if we could be able to pay for the first four years, that would be amazing."

But just two days from the deadline, ETBU said they still have not received the money.

Last week, West Rusk ISD issued a statement, stating that alum Robert Jordan, who made the surprise scholarship announcement, was still working with the benefactor, Nicholas Sturghill. In it, Jordan explained that there have been delays in finalizing the plans because Sturghill went abroad to London for last minute paperwork.

The school district added, "Even though we expected everything to be finalized by Friday…we fully believe that all the details will be finalized by [Wednesday]."

"I know that a lot of the kids are concerned because now it's even too late to register for any other college or even get financial aid together for another college," Williams said. "So a lot of these kids may not even be able to go to another school this semester."

For Williams, it is as simple as the basic principle of keeping a promise.

"We teach our kids that we're supposed to keep our promises," she said. "So we would ask for the same thing, or to at least let us know what's going to happen."

West Rusk Superintendent Tommy Alexander was out of his office on Monday. Calls on Monday to Nicholas Sturghill's representatives for comment were not returned.

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