Jackson, MS – After being addicted to drugs, losing her son and finding herself homeless, Valerie Le Grande dedicated herself to getting clean and sober and returning to college. Now she is one of two recipients of Phi Theta Kappa’s $1,000 GEICO Business Student Scholarships.
A business administration major at Mesa Community College in Arizona, Le Grande earned a 4.0 grade point average, and she plans to continue her education at Arizona State University. In addition to serving as the Public Relations Officer for her local Omicron Beta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, she received the President’s Service Award for logging more than 8,000 hours of community service. Le Grande has also regained custody of her son and settled into a home with him.
The second GEICO Business Student Scholarship recipient for 2013 is Martin Carr, a business administration major at Paul D. Camp Community College in Virginia. A single father, he also maintained a 4.0 grade point average and served as President of his local Phi Theta Kappa Chapter. In addition Carr served as a representative of the college at the Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast and is a student representative on the President’s Advisory Council at Paul D. Camp. He plans to pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from Old Dominion University.
The GEICO Business Student Scholarships are presented by GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) to Phi Theta Kappa members who are business majors for the completion of associate degrees. A sponsor of the Phi Theta Kappa Annual Convention, GEICO has given more than $1 million to support scholarships for Phi Theta Kappa members. At the 2013 Annual Convention in San Jose, Chris LeMaster, Marketing and Events Manager for Partnership Marketing at GEICO, pledged to expand support of Phi Theta Kappa by funding additional scholarships for the completion of baccalaureate degrees and masters degrees, and for professional development for chapter advisors.
The GEICO Business Student Scholarships are presented to the two business majors with the highest scores from Phi Theta Kappa’s spring common scholarship application. Recipients are chosen for multiple programs from more than 800 applicants worldwide to receive a total of $234,000 in scholarships. Independent judges evaluate the applications based on scholastic achievement, community service and leadership potential.
GEICO is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the third-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States, serving more than 12 million private passenger customers and insuring more than 18 million vehicles (auto and cycle).
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, plus Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 2.5 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 135,000 students inducted annually.