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At first glance, the statistics may seem a bit overwhelming: 2 million members in more than 1,250 chapters with more than $37 million in transfer scholarships available to members at over 700 four-year colleges and universities.
What is the secret behind Phi Theta Kappa’s success?
For me, Phi Theta Kappa has a remarkable recipe for propelling students to want to do more and become better at the two-year level and beyond. The commitment to academic excellence, service to others and leadership Phi Theta Kappa instills in its members are values that truly remain in us throughout life.
When I reflect back now, one of the proudest moments of my life was being admitted into Phi Theta Kappa's Alpha Phi Sigma Chapter at Rockland Community College (New York) in 2009. Fast forward three years: I am currently a senior at Georgetown University pursuing a bachelor of arts in government and on track to earn magna cum laude honors at graduation.
To this day, no other organization has influenced my development and empowered me to become a better individual. Phi Theta Kappa instilled a degree of confidence and sense of worth in me that has allowed me to pursue my dreams to the fullest.
When I enrolled at community college in fall 2008, I was hesitant, unsure and unwilling to fully embrace my potential both in and out of the classroom. However, after becoming a member of the honor society, the personal character transformation I underwent was nothing short of remarkable.
There is no doubt that the values, support and collaboration fostered through my involvement in Phi Theta Kappa helped guide me on the path to success. If you are skeptical, picture this: In less than a year after joining the honor society, I went from being a shy student who felt out of place to being named by Phi Theta Kappa, in collaboration with USA TODAY, to the elite 20-member 2010 All-USA Community College Academic Team. In addition, I was named New York State's New Century Scholar that year. I was also selected as student speaker at my college's commencement.
Now at Georgetown, those three key ingredients—commitment to academic excellence, service to others and leadership—continue to guide me in the everyday pursuit of my dreams. When I reflect about being just a few months away from earning a degree from an elite university, a great sense of gratitude is evoked; Gratitude over the fact I undoubtedly know I would not be where I am today if it were not for Phi Theta Kappa.
When you ask yourself “What is Phi Theta Kappa’s secret?,” simply look and you will see it all around you in the faces of the millions of lives touched by this amazing organization.
Svensson is a senior at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
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