Nation’s Premiere Scholarship Program Awards 11 Florida Students $220,000 for College
TAMPA, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#CokeFlorida–Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, LLC (Coke Florida) recognizes the 11 Florida High School Seniors who have been named 2022 Coca-Cola Scholars and will each receive a $20,000 college scholarship. The prestigious program led by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation awarded scholarships to 150 high school seniors across the country based on their academic excellence, leadership, and service demonstrated in school and community activities. The 3-stage selection process, which had an initial pool of 68,000+ applications, resulted in less than 1/4th of 1% of applicants being chosen to receive this extremely competitive award. The 2022 Florida recipients are:
- Lauren Bartel – Gulliver Preparatory School
- Cecilia Bodon – Freedom High School
- Gabriel Gerig – Inlet Grove Community High School
- Lena Kalandjian – North Broward Preparatory School
- Denny Lu – Manatee High School
- Bernadette Nwokeji – Riverview High School
- Florence Onyiuke – Seminole High School
- Ellie Reyna – Mast Academy
- Daniel Solomon – Miami Palmetto Senior High School
- Miles Wang – Alexander W Dreyfoos School of The Arts
- Maxwell Wenzel – Tampa Preparatory School
These exceptional seniors have been recognized as one of the country’s most outstanding high school leaders by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and have each been awarded a $20,000 college scholarship. As members of the 34th class of Coca-Cola Scholars, these students not only exemplify superior leadership, service, and academics – they are change agents, positively affecting others in the community.
A joint effort between the local Florida bottler Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, The Coca-Cola Company, as well as other bottlers across the country, the Coca-Cola Scholars Program is the largest corporate-sponsored, achievement-based scholarship program in the United States. With the addition of the 2022 class, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation will have provided more than 6,600 Coke Scholars nationwide with over $78 million in scholarships over the course of 34 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.”
Percy L. Wells, II, Coke Florida’s Group Vice President of Government Relations, Public Affairs, and Communications added, “This is a natural for Coke Florida! We are a family-owned business serving more than twenty-one million consumers in Florida communities through three pillars – one of which is education. We are extremely proud of these Florida-based students and their accomplishments and see this as just the first step in their bright and promising futures. We are excited to be able to contribute to their educational endeavors.“
In addition to receiving college scholarships, those students selected as Coca-Cola Scholars will be welcomed into a vibrant and growing family of alumni that have 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 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.
Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, LLC (Coke Florida) is a family-owned independent Coca-Cola bottler. Coke Florida has an exclusive sales and distribution territory that covers over 21 million consumers across 47 Florida counties, and includes the major metropolitan markets of Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, and Tampa. Coke Florida markets, sells, manufactures, distributes, and merchandises over 600 products of The Coca-Cola Company and other partner companies. The company is the third largest privately held and the sixth largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in the United States. The company is also one of the largest Black-owned businesses in the United States. Coke Florida was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida.
The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation celebrates and empowers visionary leaders who are refreshing the world. With its 34th class of Coca-Cola Scholars, the Foundation has provided more than $78 million in scholarships to over 6,600 program alumni who together have become a powerful force for positive change. Learn more at www.coca-colascholarsfoundation.org.
J. Katrinda McQueen
Vice President, Communications