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Hudson Valley Community College Student is Winner of 2014 PTK Coca-Cola Leader of Promise Scholarship

CONTACT: Deborah Renfrew (518) 629-7180,
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014

Erika Pelletier, a senior at Hudson Valley Community College majoring in Early Childhood, was recently selected as a winner of a $1,000 scholarship from Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society as a 2014 Coca-Cola Leader of Promise Scholar.

One of 207 Phi Theta Kappa members to be awarded a total of $207,000 in scholarships, Pelletier will complete her studies at Hudson Valley at the end of the 2015 fall semester and plans to transfer to Russell Sage College where she will major in Childhood Education/Special Education. She is a 2013 graduate of Berlin High School.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Miss., is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses.

PTK students, chosen from more than 900 applicants worldwide, receive scholarships of $1,000 each to further their associate degree studies. Independent judges evaluate the applications based on scholastic achievement, community service and leadership potential.

Pelletier is currently a senior senator on the college’s Student Senate and was selected to attend the National Conference on Student Leadership in Orlando Florida in November. A member of PTK since April of 2014, she volunteers at many college events for students and the public, and is a member of the Student Life Committee and co-chairperson of the Early Childhood Club. Pelletier belongs to the college’s recently re-established Cheer and Dance team.

Hudson Valley was her first choice for college, Pelletier says, for the sense of community that exists here. “We are truly like a family, and the staff is top notch and always go out of their way to support students,” she said. Cost was also a huge factor, according to Pelletier, who looks forward to graduating with an associate degree debt-free.

The Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program provides new PTK members with financial resources to help defray educational expenses while enrolled in associate degree programs. Scholars also are encouraged to assume leadership roles by participating in society programs.

"These funds not only aid college completion, but provide students with the opportunity to engage in society programs and develop leadership skills to become future leaders in Phi Theta Kappa. So the funds are not only an investment in our students, they are an investment in the future of our organization and the colleges and communities we serve,” said Dr. Rod Risley, Executive Director and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation provides $200,000 in funding for the scholarships, with $25,000 set aside for members who are veterans or active members of the U.S. military. The remaining amount is supported by donations to the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation and provides Leaders of Promise Global Scholarships, earmarked for international students.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and workforce and academic preparation programs offered through the Educational Opportunity Center. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 12,000 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining. Hudson Valley has 75,000 alumni.