TCTA kicked off 2016-17 by awarding $131,000 in scholarships to 54 Texas students pursuing higher education or vocational training. The awards include 23 first-time recipients and 31 renewals. The program, founded in 2010 and funded by the estate of the late philanthropists Charles and Phyllis Gottlieb, has awarded more than $735,000 in its first seven years. Rather than looking solely at transcripts and selecting only top academic performers, who often have multiple financial aid sources, TCTA chooses recipients who have faced hardships that make higher education unlikely without help.