TJC students Esparza and Marling named 2018 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholars

Tyler Junior College students Griselle Esparza and Kristin Marling are two of 207 Phi Theta Kappa members named 2018 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholars and will each receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Esparza and Marling, both biology majors, are officers in TJC’s Alpha Omicron Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. Esparza, from Tyler, plans to pursue her education in pre-med while Marling, from Longview, plans to continue her studies in physical therapy. 

Notable TJC alumni who have been members of TJC’s Alpha Omicron Chapter include Christian recording artist Chris Tomlin and former National Security Agency Director Admiral Bobby Inman. 

Earlier this year, TJC’s Alpha Omicron chapter earned a record-breaking sixth continuous Beta Alpha Continued Excellence Award, naming Alpha Omicron one of the top 25 chapters in all 50 states and nine countries. Only nine out of nearly 1,400 chapters total were named Beta Alpha chapters this year. 

Alpha Omicron was also named a 5-Star Chapter, indicating success in all aspects of Phi Theta Kappa Leadership development, Community Service, and Scholarship, and was one of 14 Texas chapters (out of 99) named to the Top 100 Chapters list.

The Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program helps new Phi Theta Kappa members defray educational expenses while enrolled in associate degree programs. Scholars are also encouraged to assume leadership roles by participating in Society programs and are selected based on scholastic achievement, community service, and leadership potential. More than 1,200 applications were received. 

A total of $207,000 is awarded through the Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation provides $200,000 in funding for the scholarships, with $25,000 set aside for members who are veterans or active members of the U.S. military. The remaining amount is supported by donations to the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation and provides seven Global Leaders of Promise Scholarships, earmarked for international students.

“The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has a long history of providing financial assistance to outstanding students at community colleges,” said Jane Hale Hopkins, executive vice president and president-elect of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa, make it possible for more deserving students to achieve their educational goals, and support tomorrow’s leaders of the global community.” 

The funds provided by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation not only aid college completion, but also give students the opportunity to engage in Society programs and develop leadership skills to become future leaders in their communities. 

“Research shows that Phi Theta Kappa members are four times more likely to complete a college degree than their peers,” said Dr. Monica Marlowe, executive director of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation. “The Leaders of Promise Scholarships recognize students for what they have achieved already and assure that financial need isn’t an obstacle to achieving their academic goals.”

Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society is made up of more than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 10 nations. 

Learn more at ptk.org. For information on TJC, go to TJC.edu.

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