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Two CCRI Phi Theta Kappa members earn New Century Pathway Scholarships

March 23, 2022

SS1Two members of the Community College of Rhode Island’s Pi Omicron chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society were recently named 2022 New Century Pathway Scholars.

Esther Paris, 59, of Cumberland, RI, earned the New Century Transfer Pathway Scholarship and will receive $2,250, while Alissa Prew, 25, of Scituate, RI, earned the $1,250 New Century Workforce Pathway Scholarship.

The scholarships are awarded to one student from each state who earns the highest score in the All-USA Academic Team competition, for which more than 2,000 applications are received annually. The Workforce Pathway Scholarship recognizes the most outstanding workforce-bound student from each state while Transfer Pathway Scholars are selected based on their academic accomplishments, leadership, activities, and how they extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom.

PTK is the national honor society for two-year colleges with more than 250,000 members nationwide, providing opportunities for students to grow as scholars and leaders. The All-USA Academic Team recognizes high-achieving college students who demonstrate academic excellence and intellectual rigor combined with leadership to benefit society. Winners of both scholarships are honored at the annual American Association of Community Colleges Convention in May.

Prew, a Physical Therapy Assistant major, will graduate in May with her Associate Degree in Applied Science. She currently works as a Physical Therapy Aide at Sport & Spine Physical Therapy in West Warwick, RI. A standout athlete in high school, Prew attended the University of Rhode Island for one semester; transferred to Craven Community College when her husband, a member of the United States Marine Corps, was stationed in North Carolina; and the enrolled at CCRI in the Fall of 2020 when the two returned to Rhode Island.

“It’s an honor to be considered a New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar,” Prew said. “I’ve worked really hard for the grades I have. I’ve held a 4.0 average throughout the program and I pride myself on that because I love what I do and I think that helps me improve my grades. Being a New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar is going to be beneficial to me in finishing my degree and moving on to the next step, which is going into the workforce.”

Paris, a former Software Engineer for Raytheon Technologies for 17 years and current Teacher’s Aide for the Woonsocket Educational Department, will finish her Associate Degree in Special Education in the Spring of 2023 alongside her 21-year-old son, Thomas Paris, a Computer Studies major, and plans to transfer to Central State University in Ohio to earn her bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies. A mother of four, Paris enrolled at CCRI in the Summer of 2020 more than three decades from the classroom; she previously earned a bachelor’s degree in Physics from The College of Holy Cross in 1984.

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