Northeast State student Victoria Hewlett has been named a 2016 New Century Scholar, by achieving the state’s highest score in the All-USA Community College Academic Team competition. She will be recognized as New Century Scholar in Chicago on April 12 during the American Association of Community Colleges Convention.
New Century Scholars are the highest scoring students in each state, with an additional student chosen from among one of the seven sovereign nations where Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) is represented internationally. Each New Century Scholar received a $2,000 scholarship and certificate.
“Being at Northeast State has been an incredible experience,” said Hewlett, a Sociology and Speech Communication major. “I feel like I’ve gone through a tremendous amount of personal growth since I’ve been here.”
The New Century Scholars Program, sponsored by The Coca-Cola Foundation, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Phi Theta Kappa, and the American Association of Community Colleges, and the All-USA Community College Academic Team Program share a common application and together recognize outstanding community college students. Judges consider grades, leadership, activities and most importantly, how students extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom.
Phi Theta Kappa recently named Hewlett as one of 12 Distinguished Regional Officers selected from society chapters nationwide. Distinguished Regional Officers are recognized for outstanding leadership, implementing regional goals that support overall Society goals, and effectively communicating the region’s goals and projects to members and chapters. She will be recognized at the PTK National Convention, April 7-9, in National Harbor, Md.
Hewlett’s accomplishments at Northeast State are many. She is an Honors student and member of the President’s List with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. She is also an officer in Northeast State’s Student Government organization, the Council for Leadership, Advocacy, and Student Success (CLASS). Hewlett has competed with the Northeast State Debate Team and is a member of the Toastmaster’s Club. After graduating from Northeast State in May, she plans on attending St. John’s College in New Mexico.
“There are more opportunities than you could ever imagine at Northeast State,” said Hewlett. “It is about talking to the right people to guide you and doing your best.”
Hewlett’s interest in political science and community development inspired her to serve with the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature (TISL), where the state’s top campus leaders exchange ideas, express their opinions, and learn how government works. She also volunteered her time for the campaign of presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders who won three counties in the recent Super Tuesday Democratic primary. One long-term goal Hewlett has considered is pursuing her graduate degree at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
The All-USA Program is sponsored by Follett Higher Education Group and presented by USA TODAY and Phi Theta Kappa. More than 1,900 students were nominated from more than 1,000 community colleges for recognition.
“We appreciate the support of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and The Coca-Cola Foundation to recognize the academic achievement and leadership accomplishments of these outstanding community college students,” said Phi Theta Kappa’s President and CEO, Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner. “These scholarships provided by organizations like Coca-Cola make the goal of college completion possible – especially during these challenging economic times.”
Hewlett will graduate from Northeast State as one of the College’s most successful and prolifically talented students. She said building a network of student colleagues and professors gave her a tremendous boost toward success. She said beyond classrooms or events, the Northeast State community environment helped her build the confidence to succeed – an immeasurable resource that would benefit students of all ages.
“Look inside yourself and find your purpose and find what you want to do,” said Hewlett. “You can always grow and learn and get better, even when it seems impossible.”