Graduate Gives $1500 Scholarship to Friend Starting a Family and New Career
Tchad Dvorak just graduated from Hallmark and was getting ready for his new job as an Aircraft Technician when he learned he had just won a scholarship. He would kick off his new career with a brand-new set of tools thanks to a $1500 voucher from the Younger Family Bright Lights Scholarship. It was the first time he had won something like it and the thought of a new set of tools was exciting. However, upon learning of his award, his first thought was of his friend Derik.
“I’ve never won anything before in my life and thought it was nuts,” shared Tchad Dvorak. “But I kept thinking of my friend. He’d left almost everything behind when he moved to the U.S. to go to school, and he was getting ready to move again with his family to start a new job.”
Tchad’s friend Derik already earned a degree in Puerto Rico but hit a roadblock before starting to work in the U.S.; he needed a degree from a university authorized by the FAA to train Aircraft Technicians. Effectively starting his life over, Derik moved to San Antonio with his fiancé, enrolled at Hallmark University, and started working towards a new degree. It was in their classes that Derik and Tchad met and formed a friendship.
“Sometimes I’d come over to work on his car, and I’d bring my tools with me because I’d seen his set. They were worn out, broken, or missing pieces. You bring in your tools when you’re an Aircraft Technician, and I knew the set he had wouldn’t cut it when he’d start a new job.”
Helping a Friend Start Again
Derik and his fiancé had a newborn girl just before graduation and got a job offer in Virginia, marking the start of a new chapter in their lives. Tchad knew it would be costly to move across the country and realized he could make things easier for them.
“I did some self-reflecting and knew he needed the scholarship more than I did. I spoke to the Younger family and said I already had a set of tools, and I knew someone who needed the scholarship more than I did. It would go a long way for them.”
The news that Tchad wanted to pass along the scholarship to his friend shocked the scholarship’s founder, Stan Younger, who agreed to the request. He knew the impact a new set of tools could make in an aviation career and founded the scholarship a few years earlier to help graduates get started.
“Tchad asked to pass the scholarship to his friend who he felt needed it more while in front of everyone at the ceremony,” shared Stan Younger. “Without one thought, Tchad put someone else in front of his own needs and paid it forward to his friend and his family. I think this proves that we chose the right person.”
Earning Character with Distinction
News of Tchad’s act spread throughout the university and reached the university’s leadership team. Hallmark University President and CEO Joe Fisher presented Tchad with another $1500 tool scholarship and awarded him with Hallmark University’s Character with Distinction Award.
“The minute Tchad got the scholarship, he looked outside of his self-interest and asked if the money could help someone else more,” shared Douglas Heintz, Director of Institutional Character and Ethics. “We recognized his decision to put other’s needs before his own with the Character with Distinction Award.”
Hallmark emphasizes the development of traits that make up a student’s inner character, such as integrity, leadership, and stewardship. When Tchad’s selfless act made such an impact on the lives of his friend’s family, it reflected this emphasis and gave us a glimpse of who he is on the inside, earning him Character with Distinction. The Character with Distinction Award recognizes those who do something out of the goodness of their heart, who find opportunities to help others and lead by example.
“Tchad is humble, and he’s probably not going to talk about what he did, but his story is a great example for others to follow. To show who you are inside, you need to walk the talk, and Tchad did just that.”
Goodness comes from within, and Tchad hopes he will lead by example so others can demonstrate who they are if given a similar opportunity to sacrifice a little to help someone in need.
“I hope somebody sees this and realizes that they can do something like it. If I can help one person, maybe it’ll inspire another person to do the same, and it’ll keep going from there. It takes just a little gesture of kindness to go above and beyond what you need to make a difference.”