Jackson, Mississippi – Early on, financial difficulties convinced Jenny Maique that a college education was out of reach. As a child, she dealt with her parent’s divorce, her mother’s layoff from her job, a house fire, and a car accident. But now Maique’s educational dreams are coming true thanks to Phi Theta Kappa and the GEICO Pathways to Completion Bachelor’s Degree Scholarship.
After her father remarried and Maique visited her step-mother’s family in Mexico, she quickly realized that life in the United States provided many more opportunities, and she knew that pursuing an education was the pathway to success. She is currently a biochemistry major at North Lake College in Texas and dreams of someday working as a college professor and joining the Peace Corps.
Maique serves as an orientation leader, is president of the Philosophy Club, and participates in the North Lake College Theater Company. As Vice President of Service of her Phi Theta Kappa chapter, she encourages her chapter to give back to others by serving as college ambassadors to help articulate the importance of college attendance to high school students, setting up workshops to raise awareness of sexual and domestic violence, and organizing teams to work with “Keep Irving Beautiful” (KIB) by cleaning area parks. As a result of her efforts with KIB, Jenny received a Mayor’s Youth Leadership Award.
Students who apply for Phi Theta Kappa’s Guistwhite Scholarship are automatically considered for the GEICO Pathway to Completion Bachelor’s Degree Scholarship. The two top-scoring applicants each receive a $1,500 scholarship.
“GEICO has proudly given more than $1 million dollars to support scholarships for Phi Theta Kappa members in a partnership that has proven valuable for both organizations,” said Deedre Daniel, GEICO’s Director of Partnership, Affinity and Membership Discounts. “We value education and actively promote it within our company, so we are honored to be able to help Phi Theta Kappans attain their educational goals as well, regardless of the state of their progress.”
Elizabeth Barnacastle, an accounting major at East Mississippi Community College, also received a 2015 GEICO Pathways to Completion Bachelor’s Degree Scholarship.
Barnacastle enjoys solving problems — she loves math and quickly found her passion for a future career in business administration. At East Mississippi Community College, she has served as a student ambassador, orientation leader and resident assistant. As Vice President of Leadership for her Phi Theta Kappa chapter, she has led her peers in encouraging more students to commit to completing their associate degrees, packing care boxes for military troops, and raising money for the American Cancer Society through the Relay For Life.
Barnacastle spends three days a week assisting teachers at a daycare facility, helping students with math, fine-motor and reading skills. Through her church, she has helped with Operation Christmas Child, a local food panty and serving meals at a homeless shelter. Read more about her in the Meridian Star newspaper.
The GEICO Pathways to Completion Bachelor’s Degree Scholarships are presented by GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) to Phi Theta Kappa members who have held a significant leadership position on campus or in their community, with preference given to those who have held chapter, regional or international office.
A sponsor of NerdNation, Phi Theta Kappa’s annual convention, GEICO has given more than $1 million to support scholarships for Society members. GEICO is the second-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States, serving over 13.5 million policyholders and more than 22 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 3 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 134,000 students inducted annually.