OCCC Student Named Coca Cola Leader of Promise Scholar

Marita Nash, Oregon Coast Community College student from Siletz, is one of 207 Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) members named a 2017 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar and will receive a $1,000 scholarship. “When I first opened the e-mail, I was so excited I could barely believe what I was reading! It means so much to me to have received this scholarship, because I know it means someone read my story, learned about my hopes and dreams, and decided to give me the incredible opportunity to turn them into reality – and that’s an amazing feeling to have.”

President Dr. Birgitte Ryslinge was thrilled to learn one of OCCC’s students was being honored.  “We’ve always known we have phenomenal students here on the coast, and recognition from a respected organization like PTK confirms this. Marita is a role model for other aspiring leaders and we’re delighted that she has earned this prestigious award.”

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. Nearly 1,000 applications were received.

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 Leaders of Promise Global 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 J. Mark Davis, President 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 community college students and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society is made up of more than 3 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in nine nations. Learn more at ptk.org.

Information and photo provided by OCCC