Megan Chen from Newark Charter School and Diya Mohnot from Concord High School in Wilmington have been recognized as two of the country’s most outstanding high school leaders by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation.
Each has been awarded a $20,000 college scholarship.
Ms. Chen and Ms. Mohnot are two of 150 winners, selected from 99,403 applicants from across the country.
As members of the 33rd class of Coca-Cola Scholars, these students not only exemplify superior leadership, service and academics — they are change agents, positively affecting others in their community.
A joint effort of Coca-Cola bottlers across the country and The Coca Cola Co., the scholars program is the largest corporate-sponsored, achievement-based scholarship program in the United States. With the addition of the 2021 class, the foundation will have provided more than 6,450 Coke Scholars nationwide with over $75 million in scholarships over the course of 33 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,” Jane Hale Hopkins, president of the foundation, said in a prepared statement. “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.”
Quarantine restrictions led to the cancellation of the annual Coke Scholars weekend in Atlanta, which normally includes a banquet with current and past recipients. Though celebrations were held remotely this year, local Coca-Cola Scholars received praise and best wishes from representatives of their local bottler, Liberty Cola-Cola Beverages.
“We could not be prouder of the incredible students from our territory, especially after all they endured this past year. As a group, they represent the best that our communities have to offer,” Mayra Linares-Garcia, vice president for public affairs and communication at Liberty, said in a prepared statement. “We are excited to welcome this group into a lifelong fraternity of excellence, and are excited to watch as they continue to positively impact their communities and the world around them for many years to come.”
In addition to receiving college scholarships, 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, Coke Scholars Care (Coke Scholars doing good in the midst of the pandemic) and the fifth year of a coaching program that partners seasoned alumni with first-year scholars as they transition to college.
Every five years, all alumni are invited to a Coca-Cola Scholars Leadership Summit.