Luiza Kinzerska-Martinez is inspired by her parents’ drive for an education to continue her own. Her father traveled to Ukraine to escape the Nicaraguan Revolution. There he met Kinzerska-Martinez’s mother, who was born and raised in the Ukraine but eager to escape the religious and political persecution.
Together her parents moved to the United States and completed their college degrees. The hardships faced by her parents have inspired Kinzerska-Martinez to follow in their footsteps.
“Their sacrifices have inspired me to give back to them for all that they have done to encourage my academic, emotional and physical growth,” she said.
Kinzerska-Martinez, a member of the Alpha Gamma Kappa Chapter at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus in Florida, is one of the two 2015 GEICO Pathways to Completion Associate Degree Scholars. She and Rebecca Ellzey, a member of the Eta Omega Chapter at Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Wesson Campus in Mississippi, each received a $1,000 scholarship.
“With the support of GEICO and Phi Theta Kappa, I have not only had the opportunity to continue growing academically and philanthropically, but have also further expanded my influence and fostered positive change in my global community,” Kinzerska-Martinez said. “Leadership and service to my community have become an essential part of my educational journey, and for this reason I am infinitely grateful for the GEICO scholarship and its support of my endeavors.”
The GEICO Pathways to Completion Associate Degree Scholarship is just one opportunity available to members on Phi Theta Kappa’s Spring Scholarship Application, which is now open through May 2. Members can apply for more than $250,000 in scholarships.
“Even though the cost of a community college is far less than the cost of attending a four-year college, we recognize that there are still students out there who need help completing their associate degree,” said Christin Grissom, Phi Theta Kappa’s Director of Scholarship Operations. “We are proud to be able to offer scholarships to these hardworking students as they strive to achieve their educational goals, regardless of whether that goal is to transfer to a four-year school or to enter or return to the workforce.”
The scholarship programs on this application are primarily geared toward students with less than 36 credit hours, and they support the completion of associate degrees. The programs include
- Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship — total awards of $207,000
- GEICO Pathway to Completion Associate Degree Scholarship — total awards of $2,000
- Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education — total awards of $50,000 plus a mentorship and textbooks
- Richard L. Resurreccion Public Safety Scholarship — total awards of $2,000
The Spring Scholarship Application will be available through Monday, May 2, at 5 p.m. CT.
“In the midst of classes and day-to-day deadlines, it is nice to receive encouragement of any kind that I am on the right track,” Ellzey said. “Do not overthink (the application). Take the questions to heart and believe in yourself.
“Also, start early! The entire application at once can seem overwhelming. Breaking it down gives you time to genuinely think about each questions. The application is a great way to evaluate all the assets of your education — take advantage of it!”
Wilmington College in Ohio has designated a new award, the Dreams over Disaster Scholarship, exclusively to Phi Theta Kappa members who have been financially impacted by FEMA-declared natural disasters.
The scholarship includes full tuition, fees, room and board and a textbook stipend for four consecutive semesters at Wilmington College. Two scholarships will be awarded. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. CT on April 15, 2017.
The Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship application is also available. This scholarship helps Phi Theta Kappa members overcome unanticipated financial barriers preventing the completion of their first associate degree or certificate while enrolled at the two-year college.
Up to eight one-time scholarships of $1,000 each will be awarded in spring 2016. The deadline to apply is Monday, May 2.
Visit the Scholarships page to view all scholarship opportunities available for Phi Theta Kappa members.