College of Southern Maryland (CSM) student and Huntingtown resident Amber Gieske is one of 207 Phi Theta Kappa members to be named a 2022 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar and will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

The Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program helps new Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) members defray educational expenses while enrolled in associate degree programs. Scholars are encouraged to assume leadership roles by participating in Society programs and are selected based on scholastic achievement, community service, and leadership potential. More than 1,300 applications were received.

Amber Gieske is one of 207 Phi Theta Kappa members to be named a 2022 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar. Credit: College of Southern Maryland

 As a lifelong Calvert County resident, Gieske said she has always been surrounded by the region’s natural wonders and those who strive to protect them. She credits her parents, teachers, and friends for helping to foster her interest in environmental science, especially the health of local forests and the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

“I enrolled in CSM’s Environmental Studies program to earn my AS in a more personal, local environment,” she shared, adding that she plans to transfer to a four-year institution in the Delmarva area to continue working toward her bachelor’s degree. “I am honored to receive this award from PTK and will put it to good use at CSM in the upcoming semesters.”

A total of $207,000 is awarded through the Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program. 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 United States military. The remaining amount is supported by donations to the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation which provides seven Global Leaders of Promise Scholarships, earmarked for international students.

“The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has a long history of providing financial assistance to outstanding students at community colleges,” said Jane Hale Hopkins, President of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa to make it possible for more deserving students to achieve their educational goals and support tomorrow’s leaders of the global community.”

The funds provided by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation not only aid college completion but also give students the opportunity to engage in social programs and develop leadership skills to become future leaders in their communities.

“Research shows that Phi Theta Kappa members are four times more likely to complete a college degree than their peers,” said Dr. Monica Marlowe, Executive Director of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation. “The Leaders of Promise Scholarships recognize students for what they have achieved already and assure that financial need isn’t an obstacle to achieving their academic goals.”


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