When most people think of the name Coca Cola, the sugary-sweet drink comes to mind; however, seven seniors have an entirely different thought – the opportunity to win $20,000.
The Coca Cola Scholars Program is a merit-based scholarship given to seniors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, community service and made a significant impact on both their school and community. Every year 150 students in the U.S. are awarded $20,000 in scholarship money, applicable to any accredited university, as well as connections to a long list of Coca Cola alumni and an invitation to the Coca Cola Scholars Weekend, which serves as a leadership summit.
Seniors first apply for the scholarship at the beginning of October by submitting a list of their extracurricular activities, including all leadership and community-based commitments, and basic personal and academic information. After a few weeks, they receive notice that they have been named a semifinalist. By mid-December, semifinalists submit a new application which includes an updated resume, essays, recommendation letters and a final transcript. In January, 250 regional finalists are chosen and invited to participate in interviews with a program director. These interviews are carried out throughout the month of February. Finally, in March, 150 students are officially named as Coca Cola Scholars.
“I actually stumbled upon Coca Cola when researching scholarships over summer. It was the first one on a very extensive list, so I just decided to go for it,” said senior Kayla Giset. “I’m so ecstatic for everyone that received the semi-finalist status at Heritage.”