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Coca-Cola UNITED hosts HBCU interns

From left: John Allen, III, Destin Cockrell, Alyah Sheppard, Gabrielle Aboki, Walter Body, Coca-Cola UNITED Director of Multicultural Consumers & Communities, Amanda Heaps, Kylon Freeman, Jordan Tyus-Christian, and Amoni Walker. (Provided Photo)
For The Birmingham Times

Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED recently hosted 25 students representing 14 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) for a week-long internship program at the company’s Birmingham, Ala., Montgomery, Ala., Baton Rouge, La., New Orleans, La., and Sandy Springs, Ga. facilities.

The program offered students firsthand experience in a number of roles available at Coca-Cola, including sales operations, productions, marketing and community relations.

“Coca-Cola UNITED is delighted to host these exceptional HBCU students for the week as they represent our future,” said John H. Sherman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Coca-Cola UNITED. “We hope the experience the 2018 interns had with us enables them to further develop professional goals and provides them with valuable insight as they look to their next phase in life.”

In February, Coca-Cola reviewed applications received for the program through participating HBCUs, selecting 25 students based on their applications. The following HBCU students from the Alabama region were chosen to participate in the “Pay it Forward” internship program:

Kylon Freeman and Amanda Heaps, Stillman College; John Allen, III, Talladega College; Amoni Walker and Jordan Christian, Miles College; Tasha Rhodes and Gabrielle Aboki, Tuskegee University and Destin Cockrell and Alyah Sheppard, Alabama State University.

The internship experience is a part of the company-wide “Pay it Forward” program, which aims to provide young adults from HBCUs opportunities to celebrate students’ achievements and further their success.

For the past two years, 10 students representing five local Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in Alabama, where the company’s headquarters is located, were chosen to participate. The company expanded the program for 2018 to include schools throughout the six-state footprint where Coca-Cola UNITED operates.

For more information on the annual “Pay It Forward” student opportunity, visit  www.cocacolaunited.com in January 2019.