T wo students are the first from the College to win national honors in a scholarship competition sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and administered by the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.
Audra Jeffers and Mary Anderson also were honored as members of the All-Pennsylvania Academic Team by the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges at a ceremony on March 30 in Harrisburg.
Jeffers is a Nursing student who graduated in May. She was one of 50 community college students nationally to be named a Silver Scholar, was listed in a special section of USA TODAY newspaper and will receive a stipend of $1,250. In addition, as the highest-scoring All-Pennsylvania team member, Jeffers was named a New Century Scholar, received a $2,000 stipend and represented Pennsylvania on April 4 at the opening session of the American Association of Community Colleges’ Convention in Phoenix, Arizona.
Anderson, an Education major and president of the College’s Student Government Association, was named a Coca-Cola Scholar national finalist, an honor that comes with a $1,000 award. Jeffers and Anderson are both members of Phi Theta Kappa. The New Century Scholar program, the Silver Scholar recognition and the national finalist awards are sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and share a common application and eligibility criteria.
“These students are high achievers who represent through their accomplishments the high standards and ideals of community colleges,” President Curtis said.
Each community college in Pennsylvania may nominate two students per campus to the All-Pennsylvania Academic Team. Team members receive a full scholarship to any of the 14 state-supported colleges.
Jeffers, 37, a mother of three and native of Brooklyn, New York, expects to attend West Chester University in the fall. She moved to Philadelphia in 2005, drawn to the city by its accessible transportation system and the affordability of Community College of Philadelphia. Jeffers attended Howard University briefly after graduating high school, but dropped out. It was not until she became friends with a visiting nurse who was taking care of an aging relative that she became interested in nursing and decided to return to college.
Anderson, 38, dropped out of school in the eighth grade and deferred her college dreams until her three children were in their teens. At first, Community College of Philadelphia seemed the only choice for Anderson, who earned her GED only a few weeks before applying for admission to the College. She knows better now. “What once felt like the only option, now feels like it was a natural choice,” Anderson said. “I don’t think I would have had the opportunities I have here at any other school.” Anderson, who lives in Northeast Philadelphia, graduated in May and plans to transfer to West Chester University to earn a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education.