James Elliott, a student at Delaware Technical Community College, has been named student representative to the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Board of Directors.
Elliott is pursuing a double degree in Human Services and Drug & Alcohol Counseling and hopes to become a civil rights attorney. He was recently elected to serve as Phi Theta Kappa’s 2019-20 International President, the highest position of leadership available to students in the organization.
“We are pleased to welcome James to the Board, and we value the insight he will provide as we continue to deepen the value of Phi Theta Kappa membership across the nation and beyond,” said Dr. George Boggs, Chair of the PTK Board of Directors and President and CEO Emeritus of the American Association of Community Colleges.
At 19, Elliott was incarcerated for his part in an armed robbery and spent the next six years behind bars. It was a wake-up call, and he began serving others in the prison through his work as a chaplain’s assistant, among other roles. He also took correspondence courses through Ohio University and completed 15 credits — something he’d been unable to accomplish before his incarceration.
Elliott is the first PTK International Officer to have been incarcerated. He is a passionate advocate for higher education in prison.
“I have seen first-hand the individuals affected by mass incarceration,” he said. “I love to help others because I know that I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for those that helped me. I want to make the world a better place and spread more equity to individuals who are being locked out of society.”
Earlier this year, Elliott was one of 20 two-year college students named to the prestigious All-USA Academic Team. He was also named a Coca-Cola New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar, an honor given to only one student from each state.
The Phi Theta Kappa Board of Directors governs all policies of Phi Theta Kappa and ensures that the Society’s mission to nurture academic excellence among college students is reflected in all its programs and endeavors.