by Emily Vasquez
In the spring 2018 semester, GCC student Abreanna Arin Autote received a $1,500 Coca-Cola scholarship and joined a family of alumni who are leading change around the world.
Autote is in The EXCEL Program as a mentee and as lead peer mentor. She also served as the Phi Theta Kappa vice-president of records, Vice President of Leadership, and club President this year.
She is also part of Women Rising and the Student Honors Organization. “[Being] involved in your community and on your college campus is extremely important for so many reasons,” said Autote. “Not only does getting involved help you develop skills and gain experience but it allows you to help those around you who may not have all of the opportunities you have.”
Phi Theta Kappa is a society which works with Coca-Cola Foundation. Auotote found out about the Coca-Cola Academic Team scholarship when applying for another transfer scholarship through the Phi Theta Kappa website she said.
“It is important to volunteer your time, making sure you stay on top of academics should always be to priority. Education is power,” said Autote.
Through her academic journey, Autote said her biggest challenge she endured at GCC was the transition between high school and college. “I had to work on myself and change my ways of thinking and was able to implement new skills and build better habits to help me succeed at GCC,” said Autotote.
Another Gold Star scholar winner, representing the state of Arizona is Nina Herz, who is a student at Phoenix College.
According to Herz, she is involved in Phi Theta Kappa, the Honors College and the Social Justice Organization. “Volunteering and community service is a way to give back to the community that you’re part of. Being an active participant never hurts.”
“Being engaged and maintaining a high GPA prepares you for future leadership challenges and experiences,” said Herz. “Engage with your professors, ask for help and take initiative!”
The Coca-Cola Scholars foundation seeks students with leadership skills, who have proven academic achievement and participated with engagement on campus. Herz said she applied to the Coca-Cola scholarship through Phi Theta Kappa, the international Honors Society of Community Colleges. Coca-Cola Academic Scholars are recognized in both local and statewide ceremonies.
“I’m very grateful to everyone who helped me prepare to apply including PTK advisors, Phoenix College administration, and my friends and family,” said Herz.