News Department

Sussex County Community College student is Coca-Cola scholar

NEWTON, NJ (Sussex County) – To many of her peers and teachers at Sussex County Community College, Kelly Carlino has always been one of those students who has the ability to become a real leader. And now, Coca-Cola agrees.

Carlino was recently named one of just 200 Phi Theta Kappa members from around the country as a 2023 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar. As such, she will be receiving a $1,000 scholarship.

The Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program helps new Phi Theta Kappa members defray educational expenses while enrolled in associate degree programs. Scholars are also encouraged to assume leadership roles by participating in Society programs and are selected based on scholastic achievement, community service, and leadership potential.

Carlino, a West Milford resident who graduated from West Milford High School in 2022, is a sophomore at SCCC. She is majoring in New Media Communications.

“I am honored to receive the Coca-Cola Scholarship. Their support of me and my future encourages me to keep working hard to achieve my dreams,” Carlino said. “This scholarship will help me focus my time and attention on my schoolwork by alleviating my financial responsibilities. I plan to graduate in May 2024 from SCCC with my associate degree in New Media Communications. After graduation, I would love to continue my studies at a 4-year college and receive my bachelor’s in graphic design.

“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.”

The funds provided by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation not only aid college completion but also allow students to engage in Society programs and develop leadership skills to become future leaders in their communities.

“Research shows that Phi Theta Kappa members are four times more likely to complete a college degree than their peers,” said Dr. Monica Marlowe, Executive Director of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation. “The Leaders of Promise Scholarships recognize students for what they have achieved already and assure that financial need isn’t an obstacle to achieving their academic goals.”

Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of community college students and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society is made up of more than 3 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in nine nations.

Enrollment is open for the fall semester at SCCC. Classes begin on September 5th. Students can still apply online at through September 11th. To speak with an admissions specialist, email

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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