PARAMUS, N.J. – Bergen Community College student Genesis Capellan has earned recognition as a 2021 Coca-Cola Gold Scholar, securing a $1,500 scholarship from the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society of two-year colleges. Though more than 2,000 applicants vied for the honor, only 50 received the scholarship.
“We are so proud that Genesis’ academic drive and personal determination to take advantage of the amazing opportunities at Bergen were recognized by the scholarship committee,” Bergen Phi Theta Kappa faculty advisers Lisa Mayer and Kelly Keane said in a cosigned statement. “Genesis is an incredibly diligent and compassionate person who continually demonstrates extraordinary leadership skills as PTK chapter president by spearheading PTK academic research projects, the executive team, and many social events.”
Capellan, a professional studies general major and NJ STARS student from Englewood, serves as president of Bergen’s Alpha Epsilon Phi chapter of PTK and as a College ambassador for the Violence Intervention Prevention Center. She also participates in the Educational Opportunity Fund program and has taken an active leadership role in Bergen’s D.I.V.A. Girl Club student organization.
“I have received so much support from my mother, the PTK community and many special individuals right in my hometown of Englewood,” Capellan said. “It goes to show that a loving community will really take one far. It truly does take a village Strength is found where communities are gathered to support one another.”
Capellan expects to graduate from Bergen in May and pursue additional higher education opportunities in cultural anthropology and global research. She hopes to write articles, create films, compose music and use creativity to educate others.
“I aim to take what I learn in the field of anthropology and create media content to help spread awareness about cultural issues,” she said.
Additional accolades may arrive for Capellan this semester, too – she remains a semifinalist for the Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, the nation’s most prestigious award for community college students, which provides up to $40,000 per year for college.
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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