Jade Tollis.

PARAMUS, N.J. – Bergen Community College student Jade Tollis has earned the $5,000 Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education. Tollis, of Teaneck, represents one of only 10 students in the nation to receive the award and the first Bergen student to receive the scholarship. She will now partner with a Pearson employee professional mentor during the scholarship program.

“I am beyond humbled to be chosen for this scholarship and mentorship program,” she said. “The fact that Phi Theta Kappa and Pearson Education believe enough in my career goals to invest in my education is so incredibly gratifying and encouraging.”

The Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education helps defray educational expenses for new Phi Theta Kappa members enrolled in associate degree programs and provides continued financial support to Pearson Scholars when they transfer to a four-year college.

“The Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education is one of the most prestigious national scholarships available for community college students,” Bergen Phi Theta Kappa Chapter Co-advisor Angie Goldszmidt said. “We are extremely proud of Jade’s achievements and for being one of only 10 students in the nation to win this award. This accomplishment reflects both the strength of our students and the quality of our honors programs in supporting students through the application process.”

Tollis, a veterinary technology major, has a passion for wildlife conversation and aspires to begin a career in conservation biology. She has volunteered as an educational docent at Turtle Back Zoo, interned at the Terrapin Nesting Project on Long Beach Island for two summers and currently volunteers as a trail maintainer with the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference. For her, an ideal day is one spent outdoors hiking, kayaking or volunteering. Tollis encourages her peers to join her in surveying trails for invasive plant species or conducting horseshoe-crab counts in the summer with Save Coastal Wildlife. With an expected graduation in 2020, she hopes to become a veterinary professional, scientist or teacher.

The Pearson Scholarship program awards up to 10 scholarships of $5,000 each for a total of $50,000 in scholarships annually. Pearson scholars receive complimentary access to Pearson educational materials.

Phi Theta Kappa remains the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges, helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The society includes more than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 11 nations. Learn more at ptk.org.

Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu), a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls more than 13,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.

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