Honor society membership benefits scholarship-seeking students

By Krissia Nunez/reporter

While Phi Theta Kappa may sound like the name of a fraternity, it is actually the name of an academic honor society for two year colleges. Like a common fraternity, there are standards students adhere to when a part of the organization, including maintaining a 3.5 GPA.

TCC offers PTK on all of its campuses. Members of the honor society are more likely to receive a merit scholarship at their institution or at the four-year university they wish to transfer to. However, these achievements come at a price.

For some students, the balance between school and their personal lives can be a hard one to keep. In the case of NW student Diana Hadad, it’s a bit simpler.

“I keep Friday as my ‘friends and family day,” Hadad said. “I only do homework or study that day if I have a test or something coming up that Monday.”

The stigma around college students has always included being stressed. Despite attending a community college with more opportunities for leniency, NE student and PTK Phi Tau Chapter president Rikki Nowlin still has a nearly packed schedule.

Nowlin is a mother to five young kids. Her days consist of taking them to school, attending her college classes, and working, with little time for herself. Nonetheless, she believes working hard is worth it.

“I am driven and determined to set an example for my children to see the importance in education, along with the fact that if you have dreams, never give up on them,” Nowlin said. “Hard work pays off.”

This is a lesson Nowlin had to learn on her own after events in her life inspired her to prove to herself that she could achieve greatness.

“This mindset stems from my abusive childhood and the journey it has taken me over the years to find myself and have my own voice again.”  Nowlin said. “Going back to school has been the one thing I have found that I truly enjoy, and I wake up every morning excited about it.”

NW student and PTK Alpha Delta Delta Chapter President Carlos Monsante acknowledges the strain that trying to maintain his good grades has put on his personal relationships.

“I may not be able to spend as much time with my family,” Monsante said. “But my fellow chapter officers have become some of my closest friends, and Phi Theta Kappa has become a second family.”

Monsante is the third son of immigrant parents and always thought that the choice to go to college was farfetched. Now, he feels as if Phi Theta Kappa is the reason he will be able to transfer to a good university.

“Thanks to this honor society, I have Harvard Extension School sending me emails saying they want me,” Monsante said. “I have the ability to progress and provide on a level that my family hasn’t seen before.”

According to the PTK website, Phi Theta Kappa students have a 91% success rate whereas the national success rate for students is 38%. This could be attributed to the sacrifices these students make to excel in their academics.