Cleveland State student Samantha Benavides is one of 207 Phi Theta Kappa members named a 2019 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar and will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
The Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program helps new Phi Theta Kappa members defray educational expenses while enrolled in associate degree programs. Scholars are encouraged to assume leadership roles by participating in Society programs and are selected based on scholastic achievement, community service, and leadership potential. Nearly 900 applications were received.
Receiving this scholarship means that I can make my education my top priority,” stated Ms. Benavides. “I chose to become involved in PTK because I wanted to be surrounded by like-minded individuals while serving my community.”
Ms. Benavides continued, “I love that PTK makes the most of the two-year college experience by offering scholarships, providing leadership skills, encouraging service, and creating lifelong friends… Attending CSCC has provided me so many opportunities that have set me on the path to success. I absolutely love my college.”
A total of $207,000 is awarded through the Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation provides $200,000 in funding for the scholarships, with $25,000 set aside for members who are veterans or active members of the United States military. The remaining amount is supported by donations to the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation and provides seven Global Leaders of Promise Scholarships, earmarked for international students.
“The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has a long history of providing financial assistance to outstanding students at community colleges,” said Jane Hale Hopkins, president of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa, make it possible for more deserving students to achieve their educational goals, and support tomorrow’s leaders of the global community.”
The funds provided by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation not only aid college completion, but also give students the opportunity to engage in Society programs and develop leadership skills to become future leaders in their communities.
“Research shows that Phi Theta Kappa members are four times more likely to complete a college degree than their peers,” said Dr. Monica Marlowe, executive director of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation. “The Leaders of Promise Scholarships recognize students for what they have achieved already and assure that financial need isn’t an obstacle to achieving their academic goals."
PTK Advisor Karen Dale said, “Samantha has been a leader from the start with Phi Theta Kappa. She attended the Tennessee Honors in Action Academy at the start of her freshman year and is currently serving as President of our Omega Omicron Chapter. Sam also plays clarinet in the Cleveland Pops Band and is a leader on the award-winning CSCC Debate Team.”
Ms. Benavides is a graduate of McMinn Central High School and is the daughter of Renay Redfern and Scott Vergano of Etowah. She will graduate from CSCC in May of 2020 with a degree in communications.