SCOOBA — An East Mississippi Community College student has been awarded two highly-competitive scholarships administered by the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
Malerie Guess of Hamilton, a sophomore at the Scooba campus, was among a handful of PTK members worldwide named a 2017 Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholar.
In addition to the $1,000 Oberndorf scholarship, Guess was also awarded a $1,500 Dowell Leadership Scholarship through Phi Theta Kappa, a collegiate honor society.
“I really feel grateful that they recognized me for all of the hard work that I do,” Guess, 19, said. “It was kind of a ‘wow’ moment when I learned that I had been granted the scholarships.”
The Oberndorf scholarship is designed to help PTK members facing barriers to obtaining their education. Guess excelled in all of her classes despite health problems experienced by her mother. The scholarship is named after benefactors Lou and Rosemary Oberndorf. Lou Oberndorf is the founder of METI, a world leader in medical education technology that is now called CAE Healthcare.
The Dowell Leadership Scholarship is awarded to the top-scoring Phi Theta Kappa member from the state of Mississippi in the 2017 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise application process.
“I am so happy for Malerie,” Phi Theta Kappa co-advisor Janet Briggs said. “PTK does not hand these scholarships out. They have to be earned. Malerie has worked very hard during her time at EMCC and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of the recognition.”
In addition to PTK, Guess is also a member of the Student Government Association and serves as president of the Baptist Student Union.
Guess will graduate from EMCC next May and plans to transfer to a university to study Business Accounting and Intercultural Affairs. She is considering attending either Delta State University or Union University in Jackson, Tenn.
Two summers ago, Guess worked with Light of the Village, a Christian organization in Prichard, Ala., dedicated to sharing the word of Christ with inner city children.
“We worked with children from broken homes and that is what I would like to do,” said Guess, who is interested in possibly working for a nonprofit organization once she completes her education. “The reason I am going into Business Accounting is so that I can learn to write grants.”
While she is looking forward to what life next has in store for her, Guess said she will miss EMCC.
“It is going to be so hard to leave EMCC,” Guess said. “I think the education here is great. I love my instructors and the campus at Scooba is great.”