HCCC Student One of 25 Individuals Selected Nationwide for 2018 Coca-Cola Military Leaders of Promise Scholarship

Posted: 9/19/2018
Jennifer Christopher, 201-360-4061, jchristopher@hccc.edu Roger Jones, 201-200-1080, rj@jonesandassociatescommunications.com

Jersey City’s Lindy Pagan overcomes obstacles, sets course for a rewarding life. 

September 19, 2018 , Jersey City, NJ – Two decades after dropping out of college and enlisting in the military, Lindy Pagan returned to her studies with the goal of earning an Associate’s degree in Fine Arts from Hudson County Community College (HCCC). Today she is one of only 25 recipients nationally of the Coca-Cola Military Leaders of Promise Scholarship.

Dr. Chris Reber, President of HCCC, announced that Ms. Pagan is one of only 25 Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society members selected as a 2018 Coca-Cola Military Leaders of Promise Scholar, and recipient of a $1,000 award. Recipients are active military personnel or veterans who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and leadership potential.

“All of us at the College are very proud of Lindy. We applaud her determination and support her in achieving her life goals,” Dr. Reber said. “Hudson County Community College is committed to excellence, and to providing our students with the knowledge and resources to transform their lives.  Lindy personifies the mission of HCCC.”

“I ultimately would like to set a higher standard of living for my son.  I want to show him, by way of example, that an education is one of the most valuable things anyone can ever possess. Without an education, one can only go so far in life,” Ms. Pagan said.

Pagan credited HCCC’s Center of Online Learning for contributing to her success. “Easy access to the Internet plays a major part in my academic success, especially late at night when I have no choice but to wait until everyone else is asleep to be able to concentrate on my studies.  I am also able to take advantage of the various online courses Hudson County Community College has to offer,” Ms. Pagan said.

Struggling to survive financially during her first attempt at college, Ms. Pagan dropped out and joined the military, but an injury derailed her plans for a military career.  “I was too embarrassed to return home a complete failure, so I settled into my first apartment in the middle of nowhere, 1,800 miles away. I was twenty years old,” Ms. Pagan said.   

She worked as a graphic designer for The Vernon Daily Record in Texas. As the company transitioned to digital, she learned Photoshop and QuarkXPress. “It was within those black-and-white pages of the newspaper that I found my passion for design.  A few years and one divorce later, I moved back home to Jersey City and continued to work in graphic design. I have been an active part of the artist community ever since and have had several art exhibits,” Ms. Pagan said. 

Ms. Pagan spent the last 20 years earning her living as a designer and illustrator but found not having a college degree an obstacle to promotion.  She also wanted to set an example for her family. “For the first time in my life, I found a purpose and a reason to make a change.  The day I found out I was pregnant was the day I decided it was time to go back to school and finish what I had started,” Ms. Pagan said.

After graduating from HCCC, she plans to pursue a Bachelor’s degree and have a career in graphic arts that allows her to support her family and pursue her passion for art and design.

The Leaders of Promise Scholarship, sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, awards 200 scholarships annually, totaling $200,000. A panel of independent judges selected the scholars from over 1,200 applicants. The scholarship program was launched in 2001 to assist new Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society members in obtaining an associate degree. Today, the scholarship is more relevant than ever as the organization, colleges, and communities actively encourage the completion of a college credential, an associate degree or certificate.