Local high school seniors Khristian Banks and Jessica Zheng have been named Semifinalists for the 2023 class of the Coca-Cola Scholars Program, moving to the next round of the selection process to become a Coca-Cola Scholar and receive a $20,000 college scholarship. A joint effort of Coca-Cola bottlers across the country and The Coca-Cola Company, the Coca-Cola Scholars Program is the largest corporate-sponsored, achievement-based scholarship program in the United States. With the addition of the 2023 class, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation will have provided more than 6,750 Coke Scholars nationwide with over $81 million in scholarships over the course of 35 years.
“We believe that identifying these young leaders throughout the country and encouraging their passion for serving others not only empowers the students, but also lifts up those around them.” said Jane Hale Hopkins, President of the Foundation. “The Coca-Cola system is dedicated to giving back to the communities they serve, and the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation is proud to be a part of that commitment.”
Semifinalists are now asked to complete Phase 2 applications, which include essays, a recommendation, and a transcript. An independent selection committee will review the applications and recommend 250 Regional Finalists by the end of January to take part in online interviews. 150 Coke Scholars will be named in March to receive a $20,000 college scholarship and attend Coca-Cola Scholars Weekend in Atlanta April 13-16, 2023, where they will be the guests of honor at the 35th annual Coca-Cola Scholars Banquet and participate in the Coca-Cola Scholars Leadership Development Institute facilitated by program alumni.
In addition to receiving college scholarships, those students selected as Coca-Cola Scholars will be welcomed into a vibrant and growing community of alumni that has become a powerful force for positive change in the world. Through networking, collaborations, and friendships, the group strives to make a greater impact together. Recent initiatives include a podcast called The SIP (The Coke Scholars Ignite Podcast) and the sixth year of a coaching program that partners seasoned alumni with first-year Scholars as they transition to college. Every 5 years, all alumni are invited to a Coca-Cola Scholars Leadership Summit.
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