Joelle Martins of Salem Community College was named a 2020 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar. The prestigious recognition bestowed upon only 207 Phi Theta Kappa members internationally comes with a $1,000 scholarship.
“I am elated and honored to have been chosen,” said Joelle, a Liberal Arts major. “Being awarded with this scholarship has made me realize that my strong academic efforts are being recognized by others.”
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 700 applications were received.
While working toward her associate degree at SCC, Joelle is also a senior in the Child Care & Early Childhood Education program at the Salem County Career & Technical High School.
“Taking college courses at SCC while still in high school has taught me self-discipline and how to prioritize responsibilities, while paving the way towards more advanced material and thinking,” said Joelle, who’s on track to graduate from SCC in May 2021, one month before finishing high school. “It also eases the financial stress of college tuition expenses.”
“Being enrolled in classes for both high school and college can be demanding at times, but I have developed a method of balancing the two,” said Joelle, also an SCC Alumni Association book grant recipient. “Managing my time wisely and putting my educational endeavors first keeps me on track.”
Her advice to prospective students is to stay focused on their goals and be fully committed to reaching them. “The professors and staff at SCC are eager to assist you on your journey,” she said. “I highly recommend taking courses at SCC, even if you are still in high school, because it will benefit you in the long run.”
Joelle is considering several universities to continue her education. “I am searching to attend a well-rounded school that compliments my intended major of special education,” she said.
Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society consists of more than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 11 nations, with approximately 240,000 active members in the nation’s colleges. Learn more at ptk.org.