NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin State University's Nelson Rusche College of Business awarded $2,500 each to top scholars in its Student Success Passport Program.

The program, which began in fall 2015, aims to help students hone their professional skills through workshops, conferences and online assignments while competing for scholarships.

Braxton Berthot, an SFA freshman general business major from Douglass, Texas, received a scholarship.

"It was definitely a surprise, and I'm very honored to receive this," Berthot said. "Whenever I had free time, I would go online and complete small-point projects, such as building a résumé, submitting a cover letter and completing sessions."

The Nelson Rusche College of Business and Student Advisory Council hosted a mock career fair in February as part of the Student Success Passport Program. Berthot helped orchestrate the fair and said it was one of the most beneficial events the program offered.

"It was fun to see everyone taking advantage of the resources," Berthot said.

SFA junior international business and economics major Rebecca Miller from Houston was surprised to learn she also received a scholarship.

"I didn't think I was going to get it, but I'm really glad I did," Miller said. "I've been trying to save up to go to France to study abroad, so I'm really excited because now I can go."

Miller plans to study for a semester in France at La Rochelle Business School. She is the president of the Economic Reading Group and secretary of Phi Beta Lambda, SFA's professional business student organization.

Tanya Moreno, a sophomore international business major from Houston, was another of the program's scholarship recipients.

"This is a great honor," Moreno said. "I put a lot of work into it. I stayed organized and went to as many events as possible."

Moreno added the Student Success Passport Program is a great opportunity for students and it gives them an incentive to work on career-readiness skills. Moreno also will be studying in France at La Rochelle Business School.