Genesee Community College Student Awarded Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation Scholarship

Jose Ortiz, a Genesee Community College student, is among 400 recipients nationwide who have been recognized in this year’s Coca-Cola Two-Year Colleges Scholarship Program. Jose, along with the other awardees, will receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation.

“The Coca-Cola Two-Year Colleges Scholarship Program gives support and encouragement to an under-served population of college students,” said J. Mark Davis, President of Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. “These fine students, who often juggle school, work, and family, continue to give back to their communities through volunteer service.”

Jose Ortiz perfectly fits that description. Born in Puerto Rico, raised in Rochester, NY and a current resident of Batavia, Jose has been an outstanding student at Genesee Community College. Jose has participated in the Honors Program each semester, has been named to the President’s List three times, and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of the two-year college.

“Jose is a wonderful student and he is very deserving of this award,” Clifford Scutella, Assistant Dean for Student Life, who nominated Jose for the scholarship, said. “He demonstrates a true commitment to his academics and to his community.”
Jose plans to graduate in December 2007 with an AS degree in Alcohol and Substance Abuse Studies, with the goal of becoming a Drug and Alcohol Counselor. In addition to attending classes, Jose is working part-time at Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (GCASA) and Atwater Community Residence, both in Batavia. Jose, who has battled substance abuse himself, says that is his biggest motivation for attending college and working toward a career in counseling.

“I’ve been sober for four years now,” he said. “The process of my recovery has pushed me to want to help others. If I did it, anybody can do it.”

One of his favorite topics has been family addiction therapy, which taught him how family involvement can be effective in the treatment of a client. Jose, who has eleven sisters and two brothers, as well as his wife, two grown children, and six grandchildren, is no stranger to the influence family can have on an individual. Along with his wife, Jose attends Northgate Free Methodist Church in Batavia. He says that he feels blessed to have received the scholarship from the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation.

“I love attending Genesee Community College,” Jose said. “There is such closeness here, a real community feeling. I feel like I’ve been embraced – like somebody was waiting for me to come here.”

For more information please contact Clifford Scutella, Assistant Dean of Student Life, at 585-343-0055 x6261 or

Editor’s Note: A photograph of Joe Ortiz is available by going to the following Internet address: Ortiz_Cliff Scutella.jpg