The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation sponsors the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team program by recognizing 50 Gold, 50 Silver and 50 Bronze Scholars, and providing nearly $200,000 in scholarships annually.
Garcia is honored as a Silver Scholar, receiving a $1,250 scholarship, and Becerra as a Bronze Scholar, receiving a $1,000 scholarship. All scholars will be recognized at Phi Theta Kappa’s Annual Convention in Orlando, Fla., at the end of April.
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society administers the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team program and community colleges can submit two nominations per campus for this award. An independent panel of judges considers outstanding academic rigor, grade point average, academic and leadership awards, and engagement in college and community service in the selection process.
Garcia, a longtime Douglas resident, plans to transfer to the University of Arizona to study molecular and cellular biology. Garcia has been active on the Douglas Campus in Phi Theta Kappa, service learning and community service activities, including the initiation of Earth Day projects at the campus.
“In spring 2012, I had the honor of receiving several academic scholarships. As a result, I felt it was my moral obligation to repay my debt to society the best way I knew possible — by volunteering,” Garcia said. “I decided to undertake a project that would positively impact my community. As a biology and chemistry major, I wanted a project that would place a heavy emphasis on the sciences.”
Garcia’s Earth Day project earned the Douglas Campus Service Learning Honors award for 2012-13. He was also the Phi Theta Kappa Arizona Region Vice President of Communication, for which he won the Coordinator’s Award in 2013, and he was part of the PTK officer team that won the Phi Theta Kappa Distinguished Chapter Officer Team Award for 2013.
Becerra, also of Douglas, is majoring in computer science with plans to transfer to the University of Arizona. Her career goal is to become a computer forensic specialist.
“My deepest desire is to become a computer forensic specialist and succeed by analyzing and solving life’s puzzles — the more complex, the better. With my ideal career in mind, I now work hard to accomplish not just perfect grades, but rather an accumulation of knowledge that will last forever,” she said.
While attending college on the Douglas Campus, Becerra has been the president of the Phi Theta Kappa Alpha Beta Zeta chapter, an Honors Committee member, and she has been awarded numerous scholarships. She has also been involved in her community as a church choir member and Sunday school teacher.
The efforts of Garcia and Becerra also earned each of them the honor of All-Arizona First Team recognition earlier this spring. The last time Cochise College had students recognized through the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team program was 2011.
“We thank the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation for their vote of confidence in community college students by investing in their futures,” said Dr. Rod Risley, Executive Director of Phi Theta Kappa. “Their support is especially welcome during this challenging economic climate, as more and more community college students need additional resources to help them complete their degrees.”
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society is the largest honor society in American higher education with more than 1,285 chapters on two-year and community college campuses in all 50 of the United States, Canada, Germany, Peru, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. Nearly 3 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 131,000 students inducted annually.