TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Three students at Tyler Junior College have been selected as the 2018 Coca-Cola Academic Team Scholars.
Tal Carson, Cassi Beckham, and Ebony Griffin were nominated for the academic team by their college administrators. The students were selected based on academic achievement, leadership, and engagement in college and community service.
Tal Carson was named a Coca-Cola Gold Scholar and will receive a $1,500 scholarship. A native of Tyler, Carson is an American Sign Language and interpreting major. At, TJC, she has been a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Student Senate, and the Presidential Honors Program.
Carson, who will graduate in May, plans to transfer to a four-year university and pursue a career in education, journalism, politics or law.
"TJC has been amazing because of its people and because of the opportunities I've had to travel," Carson said. "I'm looking forward to going on TJC's Project Costa Rica trip in May and excited to get to practice my Spanish, "
Ebony Griffin and Cassi Beckham have been named Coca-Cola Bronze Scholars and will each receive $1,000 scholarships.
Griffin, a sophomore biology major from Rusk, has been a part of the Presidential Honors Program, a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and Apache Chiefs and Ambassadors, a group of student leaders who assist with new student orientation and provide campus tours.
She plans to attend the University of Texas at Tyler, where she will major in biology and minor in biochemistry. She hopes to be a pediatric gastroenterologist. Griffin is set to graduate in May.
"TJC has opened doors I didn't think were possible at a community college," Griffin said. "I not only developed my academic skills at TJC, being an Apache Chief also helped me grow in my social skills and gave me a lot of self-confidence. It's been a great experience for me."
Cassi Beckham, a sophomore marketing major from Athens, has also been a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the Presidential Honors Program, and has been a student intern in the TJC Marketing, Media & Communications Department.
She plans to either transfer to Baylor University to major in marketing and minor in nonprofit studies or to The University of Texas to major in marketing. She hopes to work for a non-profit organization providing assistance to victims of sex trafficking.
"TJC was a great place for me to start," Beckham said. "Walking around campus, this doesn't feel like a two-year school. If TJC were a four-year school, I would be happy to just stay here."
Each year, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation sponsors the Coca-Cola Academic Team program by recognizing 50 Gold, 50 Silver and 50 Bronze Scholars with nearly $200,000 in scholarships. In addition to a monetary award, each scholar also receives a commemorative medallion.
"We thank the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation for recognizing these student leaders and for investing in their futures," said Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner, president and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa. "Scholarships like these are integral to the success of these students in reaching their educational and career goals."
Coca-Cola Academic Team members will be recognized in both local and statewide ceremonies and will also be recognized internationally during Phi Theta Kappa's annual convention, PTK Catalyst, April 19-21 in Kansas City, Missouri.