March 15, 2012
Story and photo by Brandon Steinert
Facing graduation in May, sophomore at Barton Community College Devan Boeger would have easily been able to look back on the last two years with comfort, pride and a sense of accomplishment. Those emotions however, have recently been amplified, as Boeger is the recipient of a Bronze Scholar Award, a prestigious national honor recognizing only the top 0.1 percent of the 125,000 members of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
PTK, headquartered in Jackson, Miss., is the largest honor society in American higher education with 1,275 chapters on two-year and community college campuses in all 50 of the United States and several other countries internationally. More than 2.5 million students have been inducted to Phi Theta Kappa since its founding in 1918, with approximately 125,000 students inducted annually.
Boeger was one of 150 students from community colleges around the country who were recognized for their academic achievement. It’s an accomplishment that stands as a tall testament to Boeger’s academic work ethic and extracurricular involvement at Barton, which includes participation on the Lady Cougars basketball team, President of the Community Student Organization, a peer tutor, lifeguard, involvement in the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters in addition to her service in PTK as the group’s community service co-chair and communications co-chair.
“It's pretty exciting,” she said. “It took awhile to register that it was the top 150 people. It's an honor.”
Boeger’s success was no accident. She said she has the right motivation and takes care to keep her priorities in the right order.
“I was raised to work hard and care about what I do,” she explained. “I've always wanted to succeed and do well in everything I try. I want to have a promising future, and I really like to learn.”
Part of her reward is a medallion and a check for $1,000, which will be sent to her in August. When asked about her plans for the money, her response was somewhat predictable; “use it for school.” Boeger will also have her name printed in USA Today on Monday, April 23.
The young scholar is looking forward to graduation May 10 and will be choosing the next step in her educational career within the next week. Regardless of where she goes, Boeger said she’s glad she attended Barton before moving on to a four-year school.“It was close to home, and I had the opportunity to play a college sport while attending a school where you get a lot of individual attention,” she said. “I’ve been able to accomplish most of my general education courses, so it’s a great first step in getting a college degree.”