Jackson, Mississippi – As a high school senior with a 4.3 grade point average, Jessie Warme was accepted to Yale and Stanford, among other universities. There was just one problem – she would be graduating college with $80,000 in student loan debt. That’s when Jessie decided to go a different route from her friends and attend a community college instead.
Now she is a 2014 Hites Scholar, receiving a $7,500 scholarship to complete her baccalaureate degree – and there’s a good chance she’ll have very little, if any, student loan debt.
A social science/mathematics major and Phi Theta Kappa member at College of the Canyons in California, Warme is one of 10 two-year college students to be named a recipient of the 2014 Phi Theta Kappa Hites Transfer Scholarship.
The Hites Transfer Scholarship Program recognizes the outstanding academic achievement of Phi Theta Kappa members and provides $75,000 annually to selected scholars for the completion of a baccalaureate degree. The program was made possible through support from the Hites Family Community College Scholarship Foundation and the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation.
Scholarships of $7,500 each were awarded to 10 students based on applications submitted by members. Students enrolled in associate degree programs and eligible to transfer to a regionally accredited baccalaureate degree-granting senior institution in the fall of 2014 were eligible to apply. Judges reviewed and scored applications for academic rigor, engagement and leadership. The 2014 Hites Transfer Scholars were selected from more than 2,200 applicants worldwide.
The 2014 Hites Transfer Scholars are:
- Stacey Dawes, Connors State College, Oklahoma
- Renee Duffy, SUNY Ulster, New York
- Laura Edwards, Howard Community College, Maryland
- Holly Highfill, Santa Barbara City College, California
- Chuong Le, Orange Coast College, California
- Megan Oleno, Paradise Valley Community College, Arizona
- Halina Miho Rachelson, Miami Dade College, Florida
- Donald Evans Rimel, State College of Florida – Manatee-Sarasota, Florida
- Heather Smyth, Mesa Community College, Arizona
- Jessie Warme, College of the Canyons, California
In 2010 the Hites Foundation gave a $250,000 grant in addition to matching donations to the Society’s Foundation 2-1 to create a $1 million scholarship endowment. Each year $75,000 in scholarships is awarded, $7,500 each to 10 Phi Theta Kappa members for the completion of a baccalaureate degree.
The Hites Family Community College Scholarship Foundation was established by the late Robert Hites, an executive with Ralston-Purina in St. Louis, Missouri. Upon his retirement he fulfilled a lifelong dream and became an instructor at St. Louis Community College, where he valued the educational experience offered by community colleges and witnessed the determination and will to succeed of his students.
The Phi Theta Kappa Foundation is focused on long-term financial stability for the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. It is dependent upon the generosity of individuals, organizations, foundations and corporations to ensure its future through the support of existing and the establishment of new endowment funds.
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,280 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, plus Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, 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.