Kaci Maris
Kaci Maris

Kaci Maris is on her way to the University of Houston – armed with scholarships and awards earned this summer and while at College of the Mainland.

Maris was recently awarded $59,100 over three years from the Terry Foundation to study at the University of Houston. The Terry Transfer Scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate academic achievement, financial need and leadership.

Maris was also selected in a nationwide competition as a 2017 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Gold Scholar. She was among 1,800 applicants and is one of only four in Texas to receive a $1,500 scholarship.

After attending a university but not earning a degree, she decided to return to college in 2015. 

“I’ve been in the workplace. I knew I would need a degree or certificate to advance,” said Maris. “We have so much dedication and support at COM. Many of the faculty could be at a four-year university but they choose to be here because they love community college students.”

Maris excelled in classes and earned a spot in Phi Theta Kappa, the international community college honor society. Last year, she was elected president of COM’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.

“PTK has helped not only with networking and scholarships but we’ve made friends we would have never made otherwise,” said Maris.

Maris graduated from COM this May with an associate degree in business management with her children watching. 

“They see you work hard. My daughter says she wants to be a PTK president when she grows up,” said Maris.