LC alum recognized as 2023 Coca-Cola Bronze Scholar

It is Laredo College’s utmost honor to recognize and congratulate Phi Theta Kappa Theta-Theta Chapter Vice President of Leadership Jeffrey Louis Gutierrez Jr. for being named the 2023 Coca-Cola Bronze Scholar. The recognition brings forth a $1,000 scholarship that will surely help in the process of taking their education to the next level.

“I think it’s really nice to be recognized for the work I’ve done through Phi Theta Kappa and through Laredo College,” they said. “Any sort of recognition, even if it’s not monetary, it’s just really nice to know that my work is appreciated.”

Jeffrey-Gutierrez-1.jpgAs the first of their family to go to college, Gutierrez said that the goal of reaching the university of their choice and graduating is paramount to future plans. They praised Phi Theta Kappa for the encouragement and guidance received in the admissions process as well as helping them get closer to their dreams.

“Once a PTK member, always a PTK member! PTK has provided me with several opportunities to communicate with universities across the nation, and it is how Columbia, Williams and several other colleges who have been persuading me to apply found me!” Gutierrez exclaimed. “It’s definitely been one of the best parts in regard to my pursuit of a college education.”

During the year, Gutierrez has been working on preparing to transfer to a four-year university as a full-time student. They have shown a strong determination and commitment to their studies considering they graduated summa cum laude and attained an associate degree in visual arts from Laredo College.

“Regardless of what I choose, I plan to do my best to make sure that I am the first person in my family to attain a college education-based career,” they said, emphasizing that the sacrifices made by their mother and grandmother that allowed them to reach these heights were not in vain.

As an honor student who looks toward the future in a number of universities, the college wishes them the best of luck in continuing their goal in the institution they ultimately choose. The Phi Theta Kappa student said they have applied to a number of universities including Columbia’s School of General Studies for non-traditional students, UT Austin, Williams College and more.

In terms of fields of study, Gutierrez added that a nursing career might be an avenue of interest, but they are also considering becoming an art professor, studying pre-law or psychology. Gutierrez said that a basis for their career field choices was their strong advocacy for helping those around them, especially those within marginalized communities.

“If I’m being honest, to me, it doesn’t matter where I study, as long as my education prepares me for my future career,” they said.

As a strong advocate for mental health awareness, Gutierrez said that a career as a mental nurse practitioner or as a lawyer fighting toward more social justice in the country is currently on the table. Ultimately, they would like to help and inspire other members of the community and future generations through showing them that support is available and that anyone and everyone can reach their dreams regardless of background or struggles.

As it is our goal to facilitate the smooth transition from our college to a four-year institution, Laredo College is immensely proud of Gutierrez for being a student that continues to pursue their academic goals for the betterment of our society.