Jackson, Mississippi – Luiza Kinzerska-Martinez was inspired by the sacrifices her parents made to come to the United States from Nicaragua and Ukraine to obtain a college education. Now, she is well on her way to making her own college dreams come true as one of two 2015 recipients of Phi Theta Kappa’s $1,000 GEICO Pathway to Completion Associate Degree Scholarships.
An International Relations major, Kinzerska-Martinez has earned a 4.0 grade point average at Miami Dade College-Wolfson Campus in Florida. She has volunteered with the Miami Rescue Mission and Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods in Haiti.
A member of Phi Theta Kappa and student editor for her college’s art and literary magazine, Kinzerska-Martinez sees her future as taking action and inspiring others “to dream more, learn more, do more and become more.”
The second 2015 GEICO Scholar is Rebecca Ellzey, a history major at Copiah-Lincoln Community College-Wesson Campus in Mississippi, who has maintained a 4.0 grade point average. She is the co-editor of her campus newspaper and serves as Vice President of Scholarship for her local Phi Theta Kappa chapter. Ellzey credits Phi Theta Kappa with constantly providing her with new experiences and opportunities to broaden her horizons.
After being mentored by an attorney in Natchez, Mississippi, Ellzey now plans to pursue a teaching degree in history and attend law school.
The GEICO Pathway to Completion Associate Degree Scholarships are presented by GEICO to Phi Theta Kappa members pursuing associate degrees. A sponsor of NerdNation, Phi Theta Kappa’s Annual Convention, GEICO has given more than $1.5 million to support scholarships and programs for Phi Theta Kappa members. GEICO also provides additional scholarships to Phi Theta Kappa members for the completion of baccalaureate and masters degrees, and for the professional development of chapter advisors.
These scholarships of $1,000 each are presented to Phi Theta Kappa members who have held significant leadership positions on campus or in their communities, with preference given to those who have held chapter, regional or international office. Phi Theta Kappa provides more than 1,100 applicants worldwide in excess of $230,000 in scholarships to complete associate level studies each fall.
“We value our long-standing partnership with GEICO and their support of community college students,” said Phi Theta Kappa Foundation CEO Dr. Nancy Rieves. “They understand our mission and want to see Phi Theta Kappa members reach their desired goals.”
GEICO is the second-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States, serving over 13.5 million policyholders and more than 22 million vehicles (auto and cycle).
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, U.S. territories and eight sovereign nations. More than 3 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 134,000 students inducted annually.