Four outstanding students from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College have achieved national recognition as 2023 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholars. Breland Graves, Emily Montgomery, William Sky Paulk, and Caleb Raulerson, all enrolled at the Jackson County Campus, have been selected among 200 Phi Theta Kappa members nationwide to receive this prestigious scholarship, which awards each recipient $1,000 in support of their academic pursuits.
Graves, a sophomore from Hurley, is pursuing a major in Special Education. She is historian for the Student Government Association, serves as the Public Relations coordinator for both the Reflections Team and Campus Activities Board, and serves as director of Public Relations and Communications for the Pi Epsilon chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. In addition, she actively contributes to the Oak Club and the JC Hispanic American Club. Breland currently holds the Academic Excellence scholarship and the Reflections Team scholarship. She expressed her gratitude for the recognition, saying, “I was absolutely thrilled to learn that I had been selected as a 2023 Coca-Cola Leader of Promise. It is an extraordinary honor to be among the students chosen nationwide, and I owe this achievement to the unwavering support of my friends and advisors who meticulously reviewed my application before submission.”
Montgomery, also from Hurley, is majoring in Kinesiology with aspirations to become a physical therapist. She holds the position of vice president of the Student Government Association and is an active member of the Reflections Team and the Honors College. She also serves as vice president of the Pi Epsilon chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. She has received multiple scholarships, including the Academic Excellence, Honors College, and Chevron REACH scholarships. She shared her excitement, stating, “The Leaders of Promise Scholarship is a distinguished award, and I am truly honored to have been chosen. Being selected from a pool of hundreds of applicants is a testament to its significance among community college students.”
Paulk, a resident of Pascagoula, is pursuing a major in Biomedical Engineering. He holds an officer position in the Pi Epsilon chapter of PTK and serves as the Southern District representative for the MS/LA region. He is the recipient of an Academic Scholarship and a NASA Space Grant. Reflecting on the impact of the Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship, he remarked, “This scholarship is a catalyst for encouraging students to engage more actively in PTK and within their college community. It will significantly reduce my work hours and, most importantly, minimize my student debt, allowing me to savor the college experience to its fullest.”
Raulerson, from Mobile, is pursuing a Business Administration degree with a focus on Real Estate Investing. He is vice president of the Pi Epsilon chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and is a member of the Honors College. He has been awarded an Honors College Scholarship and a Foundation Alumni Named Scholarship. Regarding his scholarships, he shared, “These scholarships play a pivotal role in helping me pursue my educational goals. The Leaders of Promise Scholarship has ignited a new level of dedication and enthusiasm in me, and I hope to leverage this experience to inspire others to chase their dreams.”
The Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program serves as a beacon of support for Phi Theta Kappa members in their journey through associate degree programs, easing the financial burden of education. Scholars are not only recognized for their scholastic achievements but also for their commitment to community service and their potential to emerge as leaders. This esteemed scholarship seeks to empower students to assume leadership roles within the Society and make a positive impact on their college communities.