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Berniece Combs to be given scholarship, recognized in Texas

Berniece CombsFifty-one community college students from the United States, Canada, and American Samoa, including one from Somerset Community College (SCC), have been named 2015 New Century Scholars receiving a total of $100,000 in scholarships.

Berniece Combs, of London, was the top-scoring student from Kentucky, making her Kentuckys 2015 New Century Scholar. Combs is a nursing student at SCC. She will graduate with her Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees in May and will finish the nursing program at SCC in the fall of 2016. Combs plans to continue her education at Frontier Nursing University.

The New Century Scholars Program is sponsored by The Coca-Cola Foundation, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), and the American Association of Community Colleges. More than 1,700 students were nominated from more than 900 community colleges for recognition. Judges consider grades, leadership, activities and most importantly, how students extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom when scoring nominations.

According to Combs, her lifelong dream was to go to college and become a nurse. After raising a family, 45-year-old Combs enrolled at Somerset Community College to begin fulfilling that dream. Along the journey, she found a passion to help other students get the most out of their college experience.

Throughout her time at SCC, Combs has served as Student Government Association president, Phi Theta Kappa Honors in Action vice president, an SCC student ambassador, a Laurel Campus First Year Advising Center mentor and a student representative on the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) Board of Regents.

"It is to Somerset Community College that I owe my deepest gratitude, for helping me not only reach for the stars, but swing from the moon while I was at it," said Combs of her recognition.

Dr. Jo Marshall, president and CEO of SCC, said, Berniece is the type of student you dream of having on campus. She is intelligent, driven, involved and successful. It has truly been an honor to get to know Berniece in both a personal and professional capacity. She is extremely deserving of this award.

Combs will be honored as a Coca-Cola New Century Scholar and presented with a $2,000 scholarship from the Coca-Cola Foundation and Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation at the Phi Theta Kappa Presidents Breakfast held during the American Association of Community Colleges Annual Convention on April 20, 2015 in San Antonio, Texas.