Conner Christian, an agriculture major and member of Joliet Junior College’s Phi Theta Kappa honors program, has been named a Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar.
The $1,000 scholarship is one of 207 awarded this year to Phi Theta Kappa members to help defray educational expenses while enrolled in associate degree programs. There were more than 1,200 applications received.
The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation provides $200,000 in funding for the scholarships. The remaining amount is supported by donations to the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation.
Christian, 19, said he was excited to learn he had received the award.
“It gives me the opportunity to focus on school more rather than focusing on work to pay for school,” he said.
Phi Theta Kappa is the international honors society for two-year colleges. JJC students qualify by earning a 3.5 or above in college level courses. Christian, from Newark, IL, was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa in the spring. While he’s fairly new to the program, Christian said his experience thus far, as well at JJC in general, has been rewarding.
“Everyone is so friendly here, and my advisors are really helpful when looking for new classes.”
After earning his associate degree from JJC, Christian plans to transfer to a four-year school to continue his agriculture studies.
The scholarships not only aid college completion, but also give students the opportunity to engage in society programs and develop 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.”
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