MISSOURI CITY, Texas – A Missouri City native is one of 32 American students selected for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to attend the University of Oxford in England.
“It’s a bit overwhelming, but it’s really, really exciting. And I’m just incredibly grateful,” Jeremy Thomas told KPRC 2.
The 21-year-old is a graduate of Clements High School’s Global Studies Academy. He is currently finishing his senior year at Amherst College in Massachusetts.
Because of the pandemic, for the first time ever, the Rhodes Scholarships were announced virtually. Rhodes Scholars are chosen in a highly competitive, two-stage process, according to a press release on the winners.
“This year more than 2,300 students began the application process; 953 were endorsed by 288 different colleges and universities. Committees of Selection in each of 16 U.S. districts then invite the strongest applicants to appear before them virtually for an interview,” according to the release.
Since he is attending classes remotely, Thomas got to receive the good news at home in Missouri City with his family.
“I like texted my parents immediately. I could hear my dad like, holler from the other room and everybody on the call could hear, kind of like, wait, what just happened? It’s really, really, really exciting. I was in shock for quite some time,” Thomas said.
He is one of 21 people of color and one of 10 Black students selected, tying the record for the most Black students picked in a single year.
“I think particularly considering Cecil Rhodes, (founder of the scholarship) his legacy, I think we’re definitely taking up what it means to redefine a legacy. I definitely think he is probably spinning in his grave somewhere, and I’m happy about it. I’m really excited to see like what we all do with the award,” Thomas said.
Thomas is currently finishing a double major in English and Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought. He says he excited to continue his academic pursuits in England.
“Oxford is obviously an incredible, incredible institution, and going there for free is even better. I really wanted to take some time before I go into law school and maybe more graduate school, to study some things and get to know some really incredible people,’ Thomas said.
He plans to pursue two master’s degrees in Criminal Justice and Criminology and Comparative Social Policy when he heads to Oxford next October.