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Two Birmingham-Area Students Among Coca-Cola Foundation Top Scholars

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This year’s Coke Scholars from Coca-Cola UNITED’s local bottling territories are, front row, from left: Lauren Ejiaga, Sophia Li, Shanmathi Gunasekaran, Abigail Hu, Eshika Kudaravalli and Ananya Bhatia. Back row, from left: Asanshay Gupta, Prajwal Saokar, Landon Bishop, Vinayak Menon and Sahil Sood. (PROVIDED)

cocacolaunited.com

Two Birmingham-area students were among 11 high school seniors from Coca-Cola UNITED’s local bottling territories part of the 2023 class of Coca-Cola Scholars, each of whom will receive a $20,000 college scholarship.

Eshika Kudaravalli, of Hoover High School, Hoover, Alabama and Sophia Li, of     Mountain Brook High School, Mountain Brook, Alabama were among a total of 150 high school seniors selected from an initial pool of 91,000-plus applications from across the country based on their academic excellence, leadership and service demonstrated in school and community activities as part of a three-stage selection process.

UNITED territory Coca-Cola Scholars are (in alphabetical order):

–Ananya Bhatia, Caddo Parish Magnet High School, Shreveport, Louisiana

–Landon Bishop, Saint Augustine High School, New Orleans, Louisiana

–Lauren Ejiaga, Benjamin Franklin High School, New Orleans, Louisiana

–Shanmathi Gunasekaran, Denmark High School, Alpharetta, Georgia

–Asanshay Gupta, Atlanta International School, Atlanta, Georgia

–Abigail Hu, Benjamin Franklin High School, New Orleans, Louisiana

–Eshika Kudaravalli, Hoover High School, Hoover, Alabama

–Sophia Li, Mountain Brook High School, Mountain Brook, Alabama

–Vinayak Menon, Lambert High School, Suwanee, Georgia

–Prajwal Saokar, Lambert High School, Suwanee, Georgia

–Sahil Sood, Lambert High School, Suwanee, Georgia

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.”

In addition to receiving college scholarships, the new 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 UNITED’s history with the Coca‑Cola Scholars Program dates back to former UNITED CEO Crawford Johnson III, who, in his role as chair of the bottlers’ association, led the creation of the Coca-Cola Scholars Program to honor the 100th anniversary of Coca‑Cola in 1986.

For the full list of the 2023 Coke Scholars, click here.