Hill College Phi Kappa Theta chapter president Marites “Thess” Mitchell and chapter member Abigail Sympson were recently honored at the 2021 All-Texas Academic Team Virtual Medallion Ceremony, hosted by The University of Texas System and the Texas Association of Community Colleges.

Nominees were evaluated on several criteria, including academic achievement, community service, leadership and expression.

“To be recognized for outstanding academic achievement as top community college students is an honor because only a very few from 34 Texas community colleges are selected,” Hill College PTK advisor and psychology instructor Jim Williamson said. “We are very proud of Thess and Abigail.”

Sympson plans to attend Texas Christian University in Fort Worth and major in biology after graduating from Hill College this spring. In her free time, Sympson volunteers to clean up the city and helps her church with childcare.

“I joined PTK because not only is it a fun way to meet more people, but it also makes you feel proud that you’re doing well in school,” she said. “PTK has impacted my life in a major way.”

Mitchell will graduate in the fall with her associate’s degree and plans to continue her education in nursing at Southwestern Adventist University in Keene. Mitchell became chapter president last year and has since volunteered for numerous campus events. Most of Mitchell’s volunteer efforts are focused on the Rebel Resource PTK Pantry, where she assists with restocking, weekly inventory, making connections with donors and sponsors, and teaching students how to utilize pantry resources. 

As an immigrant student, Mitchell said PTK has provided her with scholarship, leadership and service opportunities, as well as with a great sense of belonging.

“I have met some new friends and remarkable people that have been my inspiration throughout my educational journey,” she said. “I am so honored and so blessed to have PTK advisors that are incredibly supportive. PTK has made a huge impact in my life that I gained confidence in myself, and PTK helps me grow as a leader and develop my skills and passion in doing service for people.”

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