Twelve Florida College System Students Earn National Scholarships

April 6, 2018

FDOE Press Office

Twelve Florida College System Students Earn National Scholarships
~ Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and Coca-Cola reward students’ hard work ~

Tampa, Fla., April 6, 2018 – Today, during an awards ceremony in Tampa, Florida, College System Chancellor Madeline Pumariega honored the 134 students who were named to the Florida College System All-Florida Academic Team. Twelve of these students also earned national scholarships ranging in value from $1,000 to $5,000 for demonstrating a commitment to academic excellence, intellectual rigor and community service. 

Education Commissioner Pam Stewart said, “The Florida College System is recognized as a national model for its outstanding institutions, so it is no surprise that 134 of our colleges’ students were selected as recipients of these distinguished scholarships and awards. I am pleased to congratulate these students and thank Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and Coca-Cola for investing in our students’ continued education.”

Shanta Bacchus Coca Cola New Century Workforce Scholar

Chancellor Madeline Pumariega said, “As Chancellor of the Florida College System, it is my privilege to commend these students on the dedication they have shown to their studies and for the contributions they have made to their communities. These are just a few examples of the many truly remarkable students in the Florida College System.”

Below are two Florida college students who are being recognized with national scholarships.

All-USA Community College Academic Team: Luis Flores Mesias, Hillsborough Community College
Luis Flores Mesias has the unique distinction of being selected as both a member of the 2018 All-USA Academic Team and the 2018 Coca-Cola New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar for Florida, a result of having the highest All-USA Academic Team application score in the State of Florida. As a member of the All-USA Academic Team he is one of only 20 others in the United States. He is one of only 100 students recognized across the United States as a Coca-Cola New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar. 

A native of Guatemala, Luis has excelled since arriving at Hillsborough Community College, serving as an honors ambassador, member of Phi Beta Lambda, Phi Theta Kappa and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. In addition to his academic accomplishments, Luis has had the honor of serving as the first student trustee in the history of Hillsborough Community College. The District Board of Trustees, administration and staff have been greatly impressed by his informed advocacy for his fellow students during the academic year.  After completing his course work at Hillsborough Community College, Luis hopes to continue his studies in Electrical Engineering at a university. Luis Mesias earned a $5,000 scholarship as a member of the All-USA Community College Academic team and $2,000 as Florida’s Coca-Cola New Century Scholar

Coca-Cola New Century Workforce Scholar Team: Shanta Bacchus, Valencia College 

The New Century Workforce Pathway Scholarship recognizes the achievements of workforce-ready students and provides scholarships to complete their associate degrees, obtain the necessary certifications and purchase the tools or other trade-specific items needed to enter the workforce. Fifty students from across the nation will be recognized. Shanta Bacchus is currently pursuing an Associate in Science in Office Administration from Valencia College and will receive a $1,250 scholarship from Phi Theta Kappa.

Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team
The Coca-Cola Community Academic Team is selected annually by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation to recognize outstanding leadership, service to the community and academic excellence. Gold scholars are awarded with a $1,500 scholarship, silver scholars receive a $1,250 scholarship and bronze scholars receive a $1,000 scholarship.

  • Gold Scholars
    • Michaylla Boring, Eastern Florida State College
    • Jennifer Smalley, Northwest Florida State College
  • Silver Scholars
    • Ann Brown, Chipola College
    • Michidael Ceard, Miami Dade College
    • Medjyna Moreau, Broward College
  • Bronze Scholars
    • Summer Chrzescian, Florida SouthWestern State College
    • Estefany Rivas Ortiz, Hillsborough Community College
    • Monique Ruiz, Miami Dade College
    • Erika Weaver-Coleman, South Florida State College
    • Felipe Zwanzger, Miami Dade College

To view the All-Florida Academic Team members, visit All-Florida.

For more information about the Florida College System, visit

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