May 14, 2020
Read time : 4 min

Phi Theta Kappa is a national honor’s society that celebrates academic success and gives students opportunities with scholarships, professional skill-building, leadership roles, and career exploration.  

Tenzin T. Kalden is an Up to Us alumnus and Phi Theta Kappa member from Bergen Community College in New Jersey. As a leader in both organizations, Tenzin has been rewarded with titles such as a Phi Theta Kappa’s Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholar, a semifinalist in Phi Theta Kappa’s All-USA Academic Team, and as a top 5 team leader in the Fall 2019 Up to Us competition. 

As a leader in Phi Theta Kappa, Tenzin has been able to polish his community organizing and project management skills. Some of his accomplishments include direct-service events like walkathons, research projects on public transportation and college attrition rates, and collaboration with other student leaders. On his success experience with teamwork, Tenzin says “Really, you can only go so far; it pays off to find great team members and support them”. 

Tenzin first started his Up to Us journey with the Phi Theta Kappa Catalyst Conference. His interest in economics and finance inspired him and made him realize the impact he could make with Up to Us. He saw that Up to Us was a movement and opportunity to support young people in building out a fiscally sound future. Tenzin learned how to balance schedules and maneuver the challenges of the semester-long competition by directly working with college administration. Tabling events in the busy student center allowed him to learn how to capture people’s interest and turn 30-second conversations into longer engagements. Adapting conversations and piquing interest helped him to simplify and tailor messages to each public audience. Tenzin is excited to take these meaningful experiences and apply it to his future career. 

In addition to his work with Up to Us, Tenzin was an on-campus tutor at Bergen Community College, and helped 100 students support their learning. On the weekends, he works as an accounting assistant at a local CPA to gain hands-on experience. With all of his accomplishments and involvements, he realizes that time management was key. Having some amount of time planned for addressing emergencies or changes allows him to stay nimble while meeting goals and creating impact. 

Tenzin will continue on in his academic and professional journey as he graduates from Bergen Community College this May. He hopes to pursue a bachelor’s degree in finance. Up to Us is proud to have accomplished, inspiring members of the alumni community that are actively making change wherever they go. Learn more about Phi Theta Kappa or how you can make a difference with Up to Us.