Coconino Community College student Justin Wilgus knew that if he achieved first team ranking in the All-Arizona Academic Team, a tuition waiver to Northern Arizona University would be included.
“I wanted it badly,” said Wilgus, who began taking classes at CCC in 2010 and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the College’s honor society. He will give the student address at the May 10 CCC Commencement ceremony.
College officials look at scholarship, community and college involvement and service. Once selected, Phi Theta Kappa reviews the application and ranks the students onto first, second and third teams. Students selected for the first team go on to compete for national ranking.
Wilgus was diligent. He achieved a 4.0 grade point average his first semester at CCC and will graduate with a 3.9 GPA. He volunteers at the Coconino County Jail and works with a local organization that helps residents live a sober life. Would his achievements be enough?
Recently, Wilgus found out he had been chosen for CCC’s First Team All-Arizona Academic Team. The honor comes with the tuition waiver from the Arizona Board of Regents, which he will use to attend NAU. Also included is a $1,000 scholarship for First Team members.
In addition to his state honors, Wilgus was also selected as a national 2013 Coca-Cola Gold Scholar. Selection as a Coca-Cola Gold Scholar was based on scores earned in the All-USA Community College Academic Team competition, for which more than 1,800 applications were received this year. This program is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and is administered by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
Wilgus was ecstatic. His hard work and dedication had paid off. His future plans include majoring in geology and eventually obtain a master’s degree.
Wilgus’ time at CCC has helped him gain the self-assurance to be a successful student, Wilgus said.
“I feel more confident now,” he said. “I know how to ask questions, where to go for help and how to accept help. CCC helped me in that transition.”