Tyler Junior College students Amaya Blanton and Anahi Hernandez are two of 207 Phi Theta Kappa members named 2019 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholars and will each receive a $1,000 scholarship.
Blanton is a sophomore general studies major from Tyler. After graduating from TJC, she plans to transfer to a senior institute and major in graphic design. Eventually, she plans to open her own design studio.
Hernandez is a sophomore general studies major from Longview. After graduating from TJC, she plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration at either Texas State University or UT Dallas. She eventually plans to attend graduate school and earn a Master of Business Administration.
Blanton and Hernandez are members of TJC’s Alpha Omicron Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. Notable TJC alumni who have also been chapter members include Grammy-winning Christian recording artist Chris Tomlin and former National Security Agency Director Admiral Bobby Inman.
“Our students are wonderful scholars,” TJC President Dr. Juan E. Mejia said, “and TJC prides itself on offering a world-class education, which includes opportunities to develop leadership skills by getting involved on campus. The TJC community joins in celebrating both Amaya and Anahi for being recognized as being among the very best, through their selection as 2019 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholars.”
Mejia continued, “Our Phi Theta Kappa Chapter, Alpha Omicron, is recognized as being one of the very best internationally; and we value the dedication and commitment by Advisor Gigi Delk and the stellar team of advisors and educators, who all are invested in the hallmarks of scholarship, leadership, service and fellowship.”
In addition to Delk, Alpha Omicron advisors include TJC faculty and staff members: B.J. Williams, coordinator, student conduct; and Maggie Ruelle, program director, talent development and engagement.
The Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program helps Phi Theta Kappa members defray educational expenses while they are 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. Nearly 900 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 11 nations.