The Best Member Benefits Of Joining Phi Theta Kappa

I Asked Phi Theta Kappans For Their Favorite Membership Benefits And These Were The Top 19

Leadership, scholarship, service and fellowship are the hallmarks of Phi Theta Kappa, but there's so much more.

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Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society of two-year colleges. I could go on about the benefits I've gained from being a member, but why take just one person's word?

I decided to ask other Phi Theta Kappans for their favorite membership benefits — and let me tell you, if the responses don't make you want to become involved in Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), I don't know what will.

Here are the top 19 PTK membership benefits according to PTK members themselves!

1. Everyone is welcome

Alexis Kornacki

"It's a breath of fresh air — Quirky is our right of passage." — Dante Flewelling

"A feeling of belonging. The welcome is beautiful and honest!" — Dante Flewelling

"[The] sense of community" — Tamara Miles

2. Fellowship

Dr. Mitch Stimers

"I joined for the fellowship of successful friends and advisors — this is my motivation." — Serena Clarkson

3. Scholarships

Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society

"The abundance of scholarships." — Zachary Stites

"As a parent, the scholarships were fantastic!" — Norman and Suzanna Session

"Rewards for hard work." — Kristen Crane

"Scholarships are opportunities that have opened limitless doors for me to access education." — Héber Bibang

4. Resume enhancement

Alpha Zeta Kappa Chapter

"You get skills from 5-star Competitive Edge to help you in life as well as in school." — Breanna Hobbick

5. Service

Evea Morrow

"Leadership and community service opportunities are by far the most rewarding parts of being in PTK." — Sarah Elizabeth Vargas

6. Opportunity

Dr. Mitch Stimers

"Opportunity is one of the greatest benefits Phi Theta Kappa provides for its members." — Jason Hanson

"It's a great opportunity for people to join and be able to experience the opportunities available when joining PTK." — Breanna Hobbick

"New opportunities that can come towards one's way that are unimaginable." — Peggy Wunderlich

7. Support

Tammy Johnson Fuentez

"The people who you meet throughout your time in PTK become family and we support each other." — Breanna Hobbick

"[There's] strength of combined talents." — Tamara Miles

8. New adventures

Chey Huston-McCrea

"With PTK you are able to broaden your knowledge and experience new adventures." — Breanna Hobbick

9. Friends

Alexis Kornacki

"Everyone who is in it wants to strive for success and make a difference." — Zachary Stites

"I'd definitely say the friendships formed and connections made. About two weeks ago I was laid off from my job that I've worked four years at because they are temporarily out of business. In that time, my PTK advisor helped spread my name around campus and she actively helped me look for a new job. If that's not friendship, then what is?" — Kaitlyn Drollinger

"[One of] the great rewards I have enjoyed from PTK is the diverse friendship community one makes." — Héber Bibang

10. Family

JaelAnn Hoover

"The family you create when you join." — Zachary Stites

"Inheriting an extended family who supports one another to succeed." — Peggy Wunderlich

"The people who you meet throughout your time in PTK become family and we support each other." — Breanna Hobbick

"The bond with my fellow Phi Theta Kappans forms a family." — Nicole Day

11. Leadership

Tammy Johnson Fuentez

"For me, the opportunity to serve as an officer on different levels is what makes PTK stand out. While the society needs officers at regional and international levels, it also needs the individual chapters to be successful to stay strong.

"By serving as a chapter officer, I was able to serve my chapter and feel like a welcomed member of the family even though I only serve on the local level." — Jared Homishak

12. Networking

Tammy Johnson Fuentez

"Networking opportunities." — Peggy Wunderlich

"Social connectivity of like-minded people." — Dante Flewelling

"I feel like PTK, in a sense, has to do with networking." — Jacob Head

13. Travel

Rebekah Morris

"Don't forget about traveling opportunities: visiting new places or places you haven't seen in years is amazing!" — Jared Homishak

14. Discounts

Caitlin Haddan

"My Bank of America debit and credit card discounts on purchases and cash back on purchases like Starbucks. They also donate 1% of your purchase back to PTK!" — Lesa Gibbs McCanick

Check out this page for other discounts that PTK members receive!

15. Advisors

Tammy Johnson Fuentez

"[One of] the great rewards I have enjoyed from PTK are our supportive advisors." — Héber Bibang

16. Self-discovery

Amanda Karpinski

"PTK is a platform that helps you discover what's inside of you. The process it takes to get to this goal shapes you to become a better and a positive individual." — OB Demian

17. Honesty

Evea Morrow

"Just to be a more transparent world that is seeking more truth from all people. That is what a good civic organization does." — Mike Ceranic

18. Respect

Lynn Tincher-Ladner

"There's a lot of love and respect for one another in this organization." — Nicole Day

19. The experience as a whole

Alpha Sigma Zeta Chapter

"I would say the experience as a whole. I made new friends, traveled to new places and learned how to be a leader. I may not have applied for as many scholarships as others would, but I've learned a lot and still am." — Jacob Head

Even if you don't meet the GPA requirements or aren't a college student, you can still become involved in PTK. Find a chapter near you and ask how you can become involved!

Note: responses have been edited for length/clarity.

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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It's Time For You High Schoolers To Invest Your Time Into Your Careers

It may seem too early to specialize, but there will be a point where it's too late.

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If you're in high school, odds are you're approached by friends, family and more family about your plans after. For many of us, this can mean college. From convincing a college to admit you to convincing them to foot your entire tuition bill, you need to be marketable.

You should start with writing out your resume. Write it specifically oriented towards your career path. My resume, for example, is music themed. If you are anything like younger me, you might have a couple things that fit. I had marching band, concert band, honor band. But the majority might be things you signed up for to round yourself out.

A candidate too well rounded is directionless.

My participation in science club was fun, I will admit. But it didn't do much for me. It didn't teach me leadership, nor cooperation nor did it help with my career path.

High school is a lot more limited a time to both express and market yourself than you might think. Before I knew it, I was sitting in my junior year without much to my musical name.

If you have an extra curricular that you participate in because you enjoy it, you don't have to drop it. If you have developed as a person or as a leader, then it might even be something you can include in your list.

I just want to caution people from getting into the same situation I was in. I spent the first three years essentially of high school to feel out different areas, and this was too much time.

Productive uses of your after school time should be things you talk about when you say what sets you apart from other students in your field. And yes, this means you have to utilize tools outside of your school offerings most of the time.

When I go to apply for college and for musical internships, I plan on listing my participation in Atlanta CV (professional drum corps in DCA), high school marching band and marching band leadership, MAYWE (Metropolitan Atlanta Youth Wind Ensemble, an auditioned honor band), GYSO (Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra), AYWS (Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony), Youth Bands of Atlanta, county honor band, jazz band, twice state applicant for Governor's Honors Program Music, JanFest music at UGA, the Academy of Science, Research and Medicine (Biotechnology certification and science fair), math bowl and HOSA - Future Health Professionals.

When I go to apply for college and for musical internships, I plan on listing the most relevant activities as well as the ones I've chosen to regardless stick with. Relevant activities in regard to my music major include honor ensembles and marching activities.

My most applicable activities for music include marching bands. I am a contracted baritone marcher of Atlanta CV Drum and Bugle Corps as well as trombone marcher and two year Trombone/Baritone Section Leader for the Pride of Paulding marching band. These show relevancy because these organizations provide rapport as well as the marching activity in itself shows another level of musical capability.

My honor ensembles are relevant likewise because they show higher musical skill and provide some legitimacy to your path. I have been involved in Metropolitan Atlanta Youth Wind Ensemble, county honor band, jazz band and I was also a Two-Time State Applicant to the Governor's Honors Program.

I plan to also be with the Symphony of the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Youth Wind Ensemble, Youth Bands of Atlanta and JanFest at UGA. Auditions are coming up for each of these and I hope to be considered for membership. These would round out my music application by showing versatility (via orchestra along with wind ensembles) and more time dedication. Both universities and employers value this level of hard work.

Of course, even I on my soapbox have some activities I've stuck with despite it not being directly related to music. Despite this, you can make them relevant by touting your experience with it. I've been an officer and competitor for our chapter of HOSA - Future Health Professionals despite not going into healthcare and I've been certified in Biotechnology through my school The Academy of Science, Research and Medicine despite not going into STEM.

My experiences in biotechnology and healthcare have provided me a round academic experience, more high rigor classes and leadership opportunities. I was co-treasurer of our HOSA chapter and my Magnet school gave me access to more AP classes and the biotechnology classes. Anything can be useful, but the extent is determined by its relevancy.

The vast majority of my activities are both outside of the school and directly related to my career path. Activities such as these can make any student automatically more competitive than an equally academically-standing student.

Finding these activities involve a combination of involving teachers and mentors in your career field as well as self research. Luckily for me, I was able to fairly quickly compile a list of Honor Bands to audition for due to the abundance in the area. My directors also named a few. Most areas should have something at least tangentially-related to your specialization.

Some opportunities require knowing the right people and being in the right place at the right time. For example, my involvement in one of my most valuable activity assets, Atlanta CV, was a result of knowing a guy that knew a guy that knew about an opening for the right instrument halfway through spring training.

What I hope readers gain from my story is to start early. I've found myself struggling to meet the market's standards in the last year of high school immediately before applying for college. Specializing would have been more effective a tad bit longer term and I hope others take my heed.

Moving on from high school can be an intimidating process. It's hard to find the right college, and even harder to convince them they want you. Harder still is convincing them to pay for your education. But all this can be made easier by specializing and becoming marketable.

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