Although they have just
embarked on their careers, a young couple who were leaders at Fort Hays
State University have created a fund to give students at their alma
mater access to real world experiences while they are in college.
Tyler Thompson and Jessica Tormey World Ready Fund will assist business
education and informatics majors who have expenses related to leaving
campus and leaving employment in order to do student teaching and
internships. The minimum amount to establish an annual scholarship at
FHSU is $1,000 per year. The Thompsons have started with a commitment of
$1,000 per year with hopes to add to it in the future.
Thompson and Jessica Tormey met at Derby Middle School, and although
they found each other quite annoying at first, it was a true match made
in heaven. They were married this month after eight and a half years of
"Tyler and I have talked a lot about giving back to
FHSU," Jessica said recently. "In the fall of 2012, we were both doing
internships. Tyler was in Washington, D.C., and I was in Hays doing my
student teaching. The financial struggle of having to pay tuition and
bills, and finding a way to feed ourselves, was tough."
a year out of college, Tyler and Jessica have set up the fund to
provide assistance to FHSU students who may face the choice of putting
food on the table or taking an internship that gives them a shot at
their dream job. It's an investment that they are thrilled to make
because they've been there and know how important it is to other
"With the World Ready Fund we want to promote the
direct relationship between internships, student teaching and a great
job offer," said Tyler. "For us, internships provided the experience of a
If it weren't for Jessica, Tyler would have never
become an FHSU Tiger. She planned to attend FHSU and was the one who
told Tyler about the university. As it turned out, FHSU's Informatics
program was exactly what Tyler was looking for and he, too, made the
decision to move to Hays.
FHSU became an integral part of their
relationship. Not only did they do a lot together while attending the
school, but they also pushed one another to do things on campus that
they would never have done individually. Tyler and Jessica say FHSU was
critical in getting them where they are today, both in their
relationship and in their careers.
"I owe so much to the faculty
and staff at FHSU," said Jessica. "They helped shape me into the young
woman that I am today. It's the dedication and commitment of the faculty
and staff that make the difference for FHSU students."
attending FHSU, Tyler served two terms as student body president. He
also served as chair of the Student Advisory Committee for the Kansas
Board of Regents and the Executive Committee of the National Campus
Leadership Council. He was selected as a Newman Civic Fellow, which
identifies inspiring college student leaders who have worked to find
solutions for challenges facing their communities.
also very involved. She was a Dean's Honor Roll student who was engaged
in a wide variety of campus, community and national leadership roles.
She served as a student senator, was chair of the Student Government
Allocations Committee and was national vice president of DECA, the
international association of marketing students. During her college
years, she placed as a finalist in multiple national DECA competitions
and was recognized as FHSU's Torch Award winner for 2013 as the
university's outstanding senior.
The couple made an outstanding
impact at FHSU throughout their years in Hays, and in January 2013,
before they even graduated, they started talking about giving back.
had just completed an internship in Senator Moran's office in
Washington, D.C.," said Tyler. "Before that, I had an internship at
Intouch Solutions in Overland Park, and Jessica had just finished
student teaching. It had been an incredibly challenging six months for
both of us. The experience showed us that there was an urgent need for
students to have a more responsive funding model than the normal
scholarship process. Internships and student teaching both come with
extremely high expenses and very little, if any, income. We talked about
ways to help out others who would be in our situation in the future and
decided to approach the FHSU Foundation about ways to make it happen."
adds: "Internships are the key to getting your foot in the door for the
best entry-level jobs. Once employers see the work of an FHSU student
against that of some of the bigger, less personal universities, they are