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- Powered by Phi Theta Kappa
The Phi Theta Kappa Experience changes lives.
Membership recognizes academic excellence and helps members grow as scholars and servant leaders united by fellowship. Members have access to millions of dollars in scholarships, resources and life skills to help them succeed as students and productive civically-engaged citizens.
In the current climate of economic unrest, the opportunities provided by Phi Theta Kappa are needed now more than ever. Phi Theta Kappa membership helps students win scholarships and acquire the leadership, critical thinking and organizational skills sought by prospective employers. The value of membership is beyond measure.
Alpha Phi Sigma Chapter
Rockland Community College
Read Mark's story, Phi Theta Kappa’s recipe for success on the Community College Times web site.
When I reflect back on my successes over the past two years, one of the greatest moments was my admittance into Phi Theta Kappa's Alpha Phi Sigma Chapter at Rockland Community College.
Fast forward three years, where I am now a rising senior at Georgetown University. To this day no other organization has influenced my development and pushed me to do more and become a better individual than Phi Theta Kappa. Phi Theta Kappa empowered me to succeed.
When I enrolled at community college in fall 2008, I was hesitant, unsure, and unwilling to fully embrace my potential both inside and outside the classroom. After becoming a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the personal character transformation I underwent was nothing short of remarkable.
There is no doubt that the values, support, and collaboration fostered through my involvement in Phi Theta Kappa helped guide me on the path to success. If you are skeptical, picture this: In less than a year after joining Phi Theta Kappa, I went on to be named by Phi Theta Kappa, in collaboration with USA TODAY, to the elite 20-member 2010 ALL-USA Community College Academic Team. In addition, I was named New York State's New Century Scholar. Furthermore, I was selected as student speaker at my college's commencement.
The most rewarding experience for me, which really made me appreciate the greatness of Phi Theta Kappa, came when I received my acceptance letter to the university of my dreams—Georgetown. If that were not enough, the icing on the cake came this past fall during my first semester at Georgetown. As the result of my academic and extracurricular successes in Phi Theta Kappa, I received a personal invitation from Dr. Jill Biden, Second Lady of the United States, and participated in the first-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges in October.
I truly believe the best investment one can make in life is through education. Phi Theta Kappa's commitment towards ensuring student success is nothing short of inspirational. When you ask yourself 'How does Phi Theta Kappa Empower Others?" simply look and you will see it all around you in the faces of the millions of lives touched by Phi Theta Kappa.
Sarah Louise Oliveri
Chi Omega Chapter
Cuyahoga Community College - Western Campus
Empowerment is an understatement to describe how Phi Theta Kappa has helped shape, change, and direct my life. I started college at a community college when I was a lost 23 year old with very limited self respect, and only had a GED. As a survivor of childhood sexual assault, I had a very hard time seeing potential in myself or the world around me. Someone special saw something alive inside of me - my history professor who is our Phi Theta Kappa advisor. She ignited in me a confidence and budding self respect I never expected to have. I was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, elected chapter President, won a Coca-Cola scholarship, and placed on the All Ohio 3rd Academic Team. Our chapter was also recognized as a the top 25 chapter in Leadership and Service, and I was recognized as one of the top chapter presidents. Phi Theta Kappa empowered me so much that it allowed me to go from a high school drop out to a beginning Teaching Fellow at Kent State University where I am set to start my PhD (fully funded) in August. Without Phi Theta Kappa, I would have never met my mentor and friend, advisor Mary Hovenac. Without Phi Theta Kappa, I would have never found me.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Chapter
Normandale Community College
Lights, Camera, Action! There I was, a journalist from the Midwest, in Hollywood on the Red Carpet of the Academy Awards, interviewing Oscar winners. How can this be possible? Because of Phi Theta Kappa.
Long before I covered the Academy Awards, I covered campus news for my community college newspaper, earning investigative awards. I had gone back to college after raising five children and faced many obstacles to campus life: financial insecurity, non-traditional age, unsupportive family members, and a son born with Down syndrome still dependent on me. I entered Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota, on a Pell Grant, work-study, and a Jeannette Rankin Scholarship.
The president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Chapter would stop by and chat while I was working in the Student Center, encouraging me to join Phi Theta Kappa. I wasn't interested in campus student life; I was shy, middle-aged, and sure that students wouldn't accept me. I finally gave in to his pleas and was inducted in February 2004.
Our advisor, Linda Tetzlaff, encouraged me to run for chapter office. I wasn't interested because I didn't think younger students would vote for me, but I was elected Vice President of Public Relations and discovered Phi Theta Kappa to be one of the most diverse organizations I have ever encountered. My age was not an obstacle in Phi Theta Kappa. Next, our advisor encouraged me to run for regional office. I overcame my hesitation about speaking in front of students and was elected Minn-Wi-Kota Regional President. I received a Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise scholarship.
In 2006, I entered Phi Theta Kappa's USA TODAY Case Study Challenge, thinking, "how can I compete?" When I received my winning award in front of 4,000 cheering students, I overcame another obstacle, comparing my work to others.
At the end of my community college education, my advisor again encouraged me, this time to apply for Phi Theta Kappa transfer scholarships. I wasn't interested because a four-year college degree was not part of my family system and, besides, only traditional aged students ever receive those. But because of the validation and encouragement I received from Phi Theta Kappa, I submitted my applications.
As I graduated in my high honors regalia, the college president asked me to stand in front of the audience as she recognized my scholarship achievements:
- First Team, National All-USA Community College Academic Team
- All-State Community College Academic Team
- New Century Scholar, State of Minnesota
- Guistwhite National Scholarship
- Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship
I was one of only three Phi Theta Kappa students in the nation to receive honors in all of those categories. And what's interesting: We were non-traditional students.
I entered The New School in New York City to study journalism , and in my senior year lived in an 1800s apartment in Greenwich Village. After graduating with a bachelor's degree with honors in 2010, I interned at a Minneapolis-St. Paul newspaper and applied to cover the Academy Awards. Nearly 5,000 media representatives apply each year, and 254 are accepted to be backstage interviewing Oscar winners as they step off the stage with their gold statue. I did not think I would be one of the privileged few but I was selected to be on the Red Carpet. The Academy liked my work, and I was asked to go back for the 2011 Awards ceremony.
In 2010, I received the Jack Kent Cooke Continuing Graduate scholarship to work on my master's degree. I am currently enrolled at Hamline University Graduate School majoring in writing and journalism.
None of this would have been possible without Phi Theta Kappa.
Beta Theta Chi Chapter
I turned 47 on July 9, 2011, and I can honestly say that Phi Theta Kappa has empowered me to not only decide to work towards a degree but also to move even higher and obtain my bachelor’s. Phi Theta Kappa has empowered me to take chances and to speak up, where once I would have kept silent. The Five Star Competitive Edge has helped me to formulate and implement proven leadership skills. The biggest empowerment that Phi Theta Kappa has given me is pride in my accomplishments and a true commitment to strive further than my own backyard. With Phi Theta Kappa I have a strong network of peers to cheer me on. I believe that the empowerment not only comes from walking through life’s difficulties, but walking with others who are striving for the same goal. That is the true source of Phi Theta’s Kappa’s empowerment. Your peers don’t just tell you “congratulations,” they grow with you and help to build a road to success.
Lennesha Elizabeth Morgan
Beta Omicron Sigma Chapter
H. Lavity Stoutt Community College
British Virgin Islands
The opportunities as a member were endless. Wearing the Key pin and the recognitions regalia made me feel empowered and recognized for my hard work. I understood that it is okay to be smart, and I also received scholarship offers from two universities! In Fall 2011 I will attend Texas Christian University. If it wasn’t for Phi Theta Kappa, I wouldn’t have this scholarship. I love all that Phi Theta Kappa has done for me.
Omicron Beta Chapter
Mesa Community College
This year I was a keynote speaker at the Community College National Center for Community Engagement and named a CCNCCE Top 20 National Civic Engagement Leader. My project, "Hope for Our Future," which involves teaching about safe sex and unplanned pregnancies, began as our chapter’s Honors in Action project. In my speech I talked about the mentorship I received and what I have been able to accomplish as a Phi Theta Kappa member.