Jaden Borders ’22 was a high-achiever at Prairiland High School in the small Northeast Texas town of Pattonville. His involvements included the National FFA Organization, the Beta Club and the robotics team. He ultimately graduated as salutatorian of his 54-member class.
Borders also loved to play sports, particularly baseball and basketball. His senior year, though, he dropped his athletic pursuits to make time for a more pressing need: finding the scholarships crucial to attend college.
“I knew going in that paying for college would be on my shoulders,” he said.
A full-ride scholarship offered by a nearby university looked to be Borders’ ticket to a college education. But then Texas A&M came through with a Regents’ Scholarship and a Science Leadership Scholarship, adding to an FFA scholarship he had already received. While he originally planned to be an optometrist, a lecture in Dr. Jerome Menet’s biology class on brain neurons his sophomore year — combined with memories of his younger sister’s struggle with epilepsy — induced Borders to change his major to neuroscience. Even though he initially found himself academically behind many of his peers who had graduated from large high schools, Borders, now a junior, has managed to maintain a 4.0 grade point average. Medical school is part of his future plans.
Borders points to the Science Leadership Scholars Program as his main source of support at Texas A&M, even in matters beyond academics. There, he has received advice on a wide range of subjects, from college study skills and budgeting scholarship funds to choosing a meal plan.
“They helped me set up a plan for things like buying groceries for one person,” said Borders, who has six siblings from two combined families. “I’ve been lucky that I haven’t faced any huge disaster so far, but I know if I do, anyone in the Science Leadership Scholars Program can help me figure it out.”
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Where Passion Finds Purpose: The Texas A&M Foundation builds a brighter future for Texas A&M University, one relationship at a time, by uniting generosity and vision to raise and manage major endowed gifts. Learn more at https://www.txamfoundation.com/.
Written by Kara Bounds Socol