Monday, December 4, 2017

Being a Gilman Scholar

By Soleil Griffin

Being in PTK has aided me in growing my abilities and making the most of myself. One of my accomplishments, with the aid of Dr. Doctor’s letter of recommendation letter, was receiving a scholarship to study abroad in Marseilles, France. This is a program in LaGuardia, directed by Candiece Goodall. The program allowed for me to take two elective classes, Creative Writing with Professor Lucy Mcnair and French literature in translation with Professor Habiba Boumlik.

Prior to getting in the program, I had to write a competitive essay and do a follow up interview. During that time, I was in Albany touring the capital building and had to schedule a phone conference. Although I had to deal with the poor connection in the building, I managed to do well in the interview and got an email of my acceptance a week later. In the process of getting accepted into the program, I also received a grant from the Benjamin Gilman Scholarship about a month after the two down payments of the program were due. I was excited when I heard of my acceptance since I knew how prestigious and competitive this scholarship was. Receiving this scholarship enabled me to make my stay in France stress free and enjoyable. Prior to receiving this grant, I was worried about how I was going to pay for my dinners, tours, and miscellaneous things while I was there; but getting the acceptance letter made all the difference.

When you apply for the Gilman Scholarship, you are required to write about how the scholarship will benefit you and to create a follow up projecting on informing others about the scholarship. Once I came back from studying abroad, I had to create a follow up service project that I committed to doing prior to receiving the award. My project consisted of a blog that informed people about the scholarship and the application process of both getting into the program and receiving the scholarship, and a vlog which is a video of my time in Marseilles. During my PTK Talk presentation, I displayed my vlog for the first time and talked about the benefits of being a Gilman Scholar. I alluded to how being a Gilman Scholar allowed for me to enjoy my trip without any financial burden, that I was able to go to France and interview refuges from Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire and Algeria for my paper on “Living the French Dream vs. Living the American Dream, and that the Black American culture is idolized in the Black community in France.

Overall my study abroad experience was the best thing that has ever happened to me. This was the first time I traveled internationally, and met incredible people along the way. If anyone has any doubts about traveling during their undergrad or afraid of how they would get funding for the program, I highly recommend the Benjamin Gilman Scholarship. As long as you are a US citizen, receive the Federal Pell Grant, are in good academic standing, and not planning on traveling to a country that is under a Travel Warning, everyone should definitely apply. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

PTK: An Identity

by Purushottam Bajagai
I remember my high school teacher who always used to say that one cannot be considered smart only because he is intelligent or is good in studies; he should be active both inside and outside the class. She used to motivate us to participate in various activities so we could be smarter. When I joined LaGuardia, I was very nervous not only because it was a new place, but also because I was worried about studying at a college. I had a fear that I could not cope with the college level studies. So, in the beginning of the semester, I focused myself only on my studies.
Now, after receiving the invitation from the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (PTK), I feel very happy not only because I am able to be a part of such a great family, but also because it has made me realize that I have been doing well in my studies.
By allowing students to be involved in various activities, PTK provides an opportunity to meet the intellectual and highly motivated group of people. Meeting and sharing ideas with each other helps students like me stay encouraged to do innovative things constantly. Different conferences and fairs organized by the PTK chapter are very informative which is a great platform for students who are willing to learn new things.
Recently, I attended a PTK leadership challenge which was mainly focused on the discussion about success. Several PTK members spoke about their meaning of success and their way of getting closer to it. In the meeting, we discussed the challenges we face every single day. Due to the ongoing mid-term in the college and its pressure on me, I was feeling weak and depressed. After the meeting, I felt very motivated and relaxed. I learned the ways to stay positive, be strong and get ready for the challenges. So, being involved in such PTK meetings, students like me can be confident and get ready for the challenges.
Also, PTK helps some students to transfer to senior colleges and universities by providing transfer scholarship. Such scholarship becomes very helpful when students are planning to transfer to big universities and colleges. The inclusion of a student in PTK community itself is the greatest aspect of the program. It creates a unique and valuable identity for a student. It becomes one of the most important factors considered when a student is evaluated. Like my high school teacher’s statement, membership in PTK shows that the student is active both inside and outside the class, and proves the student to be smarter.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A Way to Become an Inspirational Leader

By Nikesh Prajapati

Phi Theta Kappa, a widely recognized international honor society, provides many educational benefits. I believe being a member of this society is just a starting point of my ambition to become a ‘search engine specialist’. As a matter of fact, I am an introvert, and talking with strangers is not my thing. But, my goal is to become a professional, which is entirely different from who and what I am. It’s not possible to become a specialist if I remain the same way as I am. Becoming a search engine specialist takes a lot more than a mere effort. To achieve that, I need to challenge myself to become more competitive. This is possible only if I become a member of PTK because I think it helps me to get outside of my own small world, and teaches how to enjoy ‘the real’ outside world. When I went to the orientation class organized by PTK, I came to know about various leadership workshops and scholarship opportunities. That’s when I told myself, “Leadership training is what you need to become a professional regardless of the difficulty level.” I also came to know that participating in community services, and volunteering activities is a key part to become a good leader because you get to know about different people, and their lifestyles.

Currently, I am majoring in Computer Science in LaGuardia, and planning to take as many computer courses as I can. I also plan on transferring to a good 4- year college, and pursue my career. But, I know just attaining an academic knowledge is not enough to get accepted in top schools. Even in a good 4-year college, they search a ‘leading’ quality on student before selecting them, and qualifying for scholarships. Therefore, leadership qualities in students have become a necessity to be selected in top schools. While working on my aim of becoming a search engine specialist, I believe a new ambition of being an “inspirational leader” has started to emerge. PTK has become an important part on my ambition because it made me to look through my aim, and filled with hope that even I can achieve it by providing the opportunities to students like us. I have also seen many successful person and all my role models have one qualities in common and that is ‘leading’. They all started their career from technology field, but ended up being an entrepreneur. I don’t know what will I end up with, and I leave that to the future. But right now, being a recipient of scholarship, achieving the leadership skills, and doing different research about the software, programs plays an important part in my career. I know it is tough, and I choose to achieve it by getting involved in PTK. Therefore, I believe PTK is where I belong, and I am grateful that I got to know about it.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Leadership Development and Scholarship Opportunities Through PTK

by Sanjib Lamichhane

When I volunteered in Induction Ceremony of Alpha Theta Phi chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) at LaGuardia Community College, I was glad to see how highly motivated scholars and co-operative mentors were working to make the event successful. I was less updated about the organization’s events; however, I have always wanted to be a member of the Honor Society. Because I did not know how it works, I was reluctant to get into it. But as soon as I spent few hours volunteering at the Induction Ceremony, it did not take much time for me to admit this is where I belong.

Being an aspiring leader in Tech Ecosystem, I want to be a Tech Entrepreneur and use my knowledge to benefit less privileged people in the society. That’s my ultimate goal of life. There are people in my home country, Nepal, who live in hardship in absence of geographically compatible technologies. Meanwhile, the Government of Nepal is primarily focused on institutionalizing Democracy, thereby less prioritizing the tech industry, I want to help the Government by taking a lead to invent technologies exclusively designed for the mountainous country like Nepal. In order to achieve this goal, I believe, PTK honor society will help me access potential scholarship opportunities to attend one of the competitive schools in the States.

I am inspired by the officers of the society who explained the benefits of being in the society. One of the things I like about the society is that I would be able to access numerous transfer scholarship opportunities just by being a member of the society. In addition, I would be able to master my soft skills and leadership attitude, which is possible through the Five Star Competitive Edge program. The society would provide me opportunities to participate in leadership, service and fellowship programming. Moreover, becoming an officer, participating in a leadership training course, participating in Honors in Action project, helping to organize club fair, etc. will all add up to personal growth. I am so excited to join PTK honor society as it also provides me a space to cooperate with a pool of intellectual people.  

Monday, October 2, 2017

PTK: A Golden Opportunity

by Rupak Kadel

I have always been looking for volunteer and leadership opportunities to prepare myself for the competitive future. After completing my education at LaGuardia Community College, I want to transfer to one of the renowned universities in the USA where I can finish my undergraduate degree comfortably. I was excited to learn that joining Phi Theta Kappa opens the door to all those opportunities that the students need to achieve success in life.

To be fair, I was never active in social activities from my childhood. I was unaware of the importance of the involvement in extracurricular activities. PTK provides opportunities to students to develop leadership qualities, and it organizes different events where members can volunteer. It helps to prepare us to transform into a better and professional person. Moreover, the members are offered various kinds of transfer scholarships which helps us to minimize the cost of attendance of the 4-year college. I have always focused on my education. So, I can say that my strongest point is education. I have a desire to work as a software engineer in one of the renowned technological companies. Since my childhood, I’ve been attracted by different types games and software. I have a desire to master the field of computer science. So far, I have not taken many computer courses except C++ programming. I am taking the science and the math courses that are required for the completion of Computer Science degree. When I researched PTK after coming to LaGCC in March, I thought joining PTK would definitely help to achieve my goal. I want to get involved in different events and gain experience which can be helpful to build my career. The most selective universities also look for the students who involve in volunteering and extracurricular activities. So, the opportunities that PTK provides will ultimately bring closer to my goal.

Finally, the benefits like leadership opportunities, volunteering and transfer scholarships that the PTK provides will help the students like us to prepare for the future. I am extremely pleased to get invitation from one of the most prestigious honor society.