COD Honors Student Thomas Oleksy Named 2021 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar

By: Angela Mennecke

Tom Oleksy

College of DuPage Honors Student Thomas Oleksy has been named a 2021 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar and will receive a $1,000 scholarship. The Hanover Park resident is one of only 200 Phi Theta Kappa members nationwide to earn the honor this year.

"For me, the scholarship is a personal, visible validation of the work and community involvement that I have been so proud to be a part of throughout the past couple of years," said Oleksy, who plans to graduate from COD next May. “I am very grateful, and with this scholarship, I can work a bit less and take on the credit hours I signed up for this fall with less worry.”

Oleksy is a shining example of the positive results enabled through COD’s ongoing commitment to student success, said COD President Dr. Brian Caputo.

“Thomas is well-deserving of this honor, and this outstanding recognition shows the high caliber of student he is not only at College of DuPage but as well as throughout his extracurricular activities outside of the institution,” said Dr. Caputo.

After leaving a 30-year career in the service industry, Oleksy decided to make a change. He enrolled in classes at COD in the fall of 2020 to study marketing, management and accounting. After graduating with his A.A.S degree next spring, he hopes to work in the human resources field.

“Things have fortunately worked out for me since I left my former industry,” he said. “Being a hard worker is paying off in the form of scholarships and opportunities that have presented themselves to me.”

The Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program helps new Phi Theta Kappa members defray educational expenses while enrolled in associate degree programs and gives students the opportunity to develop leadership skills to become future leaders in their community. Scholars are selected based on scholastic achievement, community service and leadership potential.

“The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has a long history of providing financial assistance to outstanding students at community colleges,” said Jane Hale Hopkins, President of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa to make it possible for more deserving students to achieve their educational goals and support tomorrow’s leaders of the global community.”

College of DuPage is institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Serving approximately 21,000 students each term, College of DuPage is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois. The College grants seven associate degrees and offers more than 170 career and technical certificates in over 50 areas of study.