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Podcast

Episode Notes | Transcript | AskTheGuest

 Hi Fives (5 Highlights)  3-Minute Listen

Carolyn was a Second Grade School Teacher in Virginia with a desire to do more in non-profit education. She moved to Atlanta and in a few years landed a role as the Alumni Relations Manager at the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation.

The Foundation has awarded $78M in scholarships to 6600 Scholars since its founding in 1986.

Carolyn gave us a great overview of The Coca-Cola Scholarship, How to Apply and Why?

Hi-Fives from the Podcast are:

  1. The Foundation
  2. What does the Foundation look for in their Scholars?
  3. What the Scholarship Offers?
  4. How to Apply
  5. Advice for High Schoolers

Episode Notes

Episode Title: Carolyn Norton of Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation: Become a Coke Scholar and Join the Family.

Carolyn was a Second Grade School Teacher in Virginia with a desire to do more in non-profit education. She moved to Atlanta and in a few years landed a role as the Alumni Relations Manager at the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation.

The Foundation has awarded $78M in scholarships to 6600 Scholars since its founding in 1986.

In this podcast, Carolyn gives us an overview of The Coca Cola Scholarship, How Students can Apply for the Scholarship, What they look for in their Scholars, Alumni Network, and Advice for High Schoolers.

In particular, we discuss the following with her:

  • About Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation
  • What the Foundation is looking for in the Scholars
  • How to Apply
  • What the Scholars receive
  • Advice to Applicants

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Introducing Carolyn Norton, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation [0:48]
  • Hi Fives - Podcast Highlights [2:02]
  • Carolyn’s Background [4:16]
  • Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation [8:01]
  • Role at the Foundation [9:16]
  • How to Apply for the Scholarship [11:29]
  • What does Coca-Cola look for in the Scholars? [16:53]
  • Changes over the last 2 Decades [18:41]
  • Kinds of Alumni Programs [19:47]
  • What do Scholars get? [24:08]
  • Success Stories - Alumni [26:52]
  • Advice to High Schoolers [32:13]
  • Benefits while in College [35:18]
  • Close: Chronicling Your Activities from 9th Grade [39:44]

Our Guest: Carolyn Norton is the Alumni Relations Manager at Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation based in Atlanta. Carolyn graduated from Randolph College with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

Memorable Quote: “We've done all kinds of impact studies over the years with them, like surveys and things like that, where we've found that it's, like 80% or so consider the Coke Scholars family, like one of their favorite their top three networks, even more so than college...” Carolyn Norton.

Episode Transcript: Please visit this episode’s transcript.

Podcast Suggestions for High Schoolers: College Experiences

Calls-to-action:

Resources: Other Scholarship Programs, Scholly.

Episode Transcript

Transcript of the episode’s audio.

<Start Snippet> Carolyn N  0:14

So as far as the network goes, it's crazy how amazing and diverse it is. Coke scholars are visionary leaders and change agents, trailblazers, lifelong learners. I mean, we could go on and on about the the amazing people that they are, but they're all committed to service and giving back on our website, you'll see that we talk about them being a force for good in the world. And it's really true.

Venkat Raman  0:48  [Introducing Carolyn Norton, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation]

That was Carolyn Norton, Alumni Relations Manager with Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation.

Hello! I am your host Venkat Raman.

Founded in 1986, Coca Cola Scholars Foundation has awarded $78M in scholarships to 6600 Scholars to advance their educational careers.

From the time a college-bound high school student is awarded the Coca Cola Scholarship, they become part of this exclusive lifelong network of 6600 scholars - nurtured and supported by Carolyn’s Alumni Relations team.

Venkat Raman 1:30

In this podcast, Carolyn gives us an overview of The Coca Cola Scholarship, How Students can Apply for the Scholarship, What they look for in their Scholars, Alumni Scholars Programs, and Advice for High Schoolers.

Venkat Raman  1:47

Before we jump into the podcast, here are the High-Fives,  Five Highlights from the podcast:

Carolyn N  2:02  [Highlights - Hi Fives]

[The Foundation]

You know, when you hear scholarship, you know that we're a scholarship provider, you don't always think a lot of people are like, What do you mean by alumni relations. We're very unique in the sense that we, we never wanted to just be a check for college, we wanted to be so much more than that for our scholars.

[What does the Foundation look for in their Scholars?]

And they have a heart for, you know, community service and public policy and social impact. And they're just really, they're doing just big things as high schoolers.

[What the Scholarship Offers?]

It really, I know, it sounds cliche, but it's it's a family feels like this bigger family. And we really instill that in them from the moment they come to scholars weekend, you know that you are now part of something much bigger than yourself.

 

[How to Apply?]

They have to be a high school senior to apply for our scholarship. And they apply between August 1 and October 31 of their senior year, on our website, coca dash cola scholars foundation.org.

[Advice for High Schoolers]

And so if you are a high achieving high schooler who is really strong and service and leadership and academics up, you know, employment to by the way is a big part of that because a lot of our scholars have to work to help their families. That's great, too. But if you're a high achieving high school students, I would you know, I would really encourage everybody to apply.

Venkat Raman  3:44

These were the Hi5s, brought to you by College Matters. Alma Matters.

Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Venkat Raman  3:55  

Now, I'm sure you want to hear the entire podcast on Coca Cola Scholarship Foundation with Carolyn.

So without further ado, over to Carolyn Norton!

-------------------------------------------

Venkat Raman  4:06  

Okay, so if you're ready, we can jump right in. And maybe you could kick it off with telling us a little bit about yourself?

Carolyn N  4:16  [Carolyn’s Background]

Yes. Well, first of all, thanks so much for having me, Venkat. I'm really excited to talk to you today. And I love your podcasts and what you're doing as well. So I'm glad to be here. Yeah, so I am Carolyn Norton. I lead Alumni Relations at the Coca Cola scholars Foundation. A little bit about me. I grew up in Richmond, Virginia. Got my BA in psychology and education or Randolph Macon women's college back in the day. I won't I won't reveal my age but I'm I'm up there. I'm up there. And and then I taught second grade for a while, first six years, not too long, but for six years and eventually moved from Virginia to Atlanta, where I am where I have been since 1997. So, a long, long time. But yeah, I taught second grade for six years in, in Virginia and Georgia and then transition honestly, you know, just through amazing lock in, and networking and that kind of stuff. I ended up in the job where I am today with the Coca Cola scholars Foundation, and I've been here since 2001.

Venkat Raman  5:46  

Fantastic, that's fantastic. You know. So what? So two questions come to mind. One is, how are How did you transition from a school teacher to this to being an alumni, liaison and manager, and, you know, that must have been a pretty crazy transition, if I may.

Carolyn N  6:12  

Write it what, let me tell you, it was I, you know, I just, I was ready to get I loved teaching so much, but I was ready to just do something different. And, and I really wanted it to be an education and nonprofit, but I, you know, I had one view of what that look like, and the kind of jobs I hope to have. And then, you know, I ended up here, and honestly, I had not even heard of the Coke Cola scholars foundation at the time. I hadn't even thought of the scholarship world at all, like being part of that. And our president at the time Mark Davis, like I, you know, honestly, I think he just, for whatever reason, he saw something in me, and I'm just so grateful. Because it you know, and I always encourage teachers and people out there that are looking to transition careers, you know, just you never know, the skills that you have, actually, if you're relational and you know, a good connector and things like that, which so many people in education are you you can do more than you think you can. And so, I'm grateful he believed in me back in the day and, and I've really have found a passion and Alumni Relations and engagement being here. So, yeah.

Venkat Raman  7:51  

Okay, so before we kind of jump into what you do, tell us a little bit about the Coca Cola Scholarship Foundation, how it started and what it's doing.

Carolyn N  8:01  [Coca-Cola Scholarship Foundation]

Yes. So so the Coke scholars Foundation was started was founded in 1986. At Coca Cola centennial anniversary, the bottler Koch bottlers, and company came together to start this amazing program, just because they really believes in education and wanting to further educational careers of young people. And and so our firt, the first class of scholars was in 1989. And we, it's varied over the years of how much money we have given to scholars, you know, each year, but now everybody gets. So now we've got over 6600, Coke scholars, and we've given over $78 million in scholarships to students around the country. And, yeah, we've got this incredible network that I'll be telling you about.

Venkat Raman  9:05  

So maybe, maybe you could tell us a little bit about what you do. What's your role? And you mentioned alumni relations. So what does that entail? And how does all that fit in?

Carolyn N  9:16  [Role at the Foundation]

Right? Well, you know, when you hear scholarship up, you know that we're a scholarship provider, you don't always think a lot of people are like, What do you mean by alumni relations? We're very unique in the sense that we, we never want it to just be a check for college. We want it to be so much more than that to our scholars. And so we really have stayed in touch with them. And you know, just, I don't want to say the word track, but you know, we've just known where they have gone in life since the beginning is as long as they'll let us be a part of their lives. So that's pretty unique and I As far as my role, I mean, I plan and execute events for our scholars helped put together our committees, because they're, you know, on our selection committees now we have an Alumni Advisory Board that I oversee. You know, I'm constantly trying to do research on alumni trends out there, because there's definite overlaps with the kind of things that colleges do with their alumni. But it is different at the same time, because we're, you know, we're a scholarship provider, but But yes, we just, yeah, I mean, I am always trying to connect them to each other, and back to the scholars Foundation, and also the Koch company, just in terms of just keeping them top in mind. With, you know, just how they provided scholarships over the years to them, you know, I mean, they're just kind of indebted to the company for that, and just grateful and so.

Venkat Raman  11:08  

So, you know, maybe we should trace it's like a lifecycle kind of discussion, you know, how do you find these scholars maybe start from, who you're looking for, and how does the process start, and then we can sort of stick with them and talk about what they do through college and beyond? Sure.

Carolyn N  11:29  [How to Apply for the Scholarship]

One of my favorite things to talk about our, our scholars, so they It starts there, they have to be a high school senior to apply for our scholarship. And they apply between August 1 and October 31 of their senior year, on our website, coca dash cola scholars foundation.org. And, and then they, they so they have to be a high achieving high school senior, we're an achievement based scholarship. You know, need can play into it, but they've got to have the high achievement part at first. And just to give you a sense, it's, it's crazy, we get 70 to 90, roughly 70 to 90,000 online applications. Wow. And we have 150 spots. So you can only imagine these are these are Yeah, movers and shakers in their high school, they just have done a lot with service and leadership, especially. They're super diverse in their in every way from their talents, their skills, their the kind of things they're interested in, and their backgrounds, everything. And, yeah, so then they that phase one is that initial online application. And from there, they we go into phase two, which is a semifinalist application, and we have just under 2000. semifinalist. Wow. Yeah,

Venkat Raman  13:15  

we're taking down from 90,000 to 2000. Yeah,

Carolyn N  13:19  

yes, it very, you know, the past few years, we've had more like 70,000 apply. So it just, it really varies over the years. But yes, it's still it's narrowed down to just under 2000 for the semi finalists around, and we bring in our program review committee to read those and those are people that are in college admissions areas and some high school admissions, you know, high school, college counseling kind of people as well. And then they narrowed it down to our regional finalist, we have 250 regional finalists and that's where our team joins up with Koch scholar alumni from around the country. And we interview all of those 250 over the course of a couple of weekends, and just 20 minute interviews mostly on Skype the or you know, on on Zoom these days, and, and then that we see from there we select our 150 scholars from those interviews. So it's crazy and then we bring them on non COVID years. We bring them to Atlanta in have a big coke scholars weekend with them, where we do a lot of leadership development kind of an inside out approach to leadership, where we talk about empathy and self awareness, vision and inspiration and are we have 30 ones that come in and facilitate those groups with them. And, and we start off with a banquet to celebrate them with our company, community and all of our business partners that come together to sponsor the event. And it's just, it's a big weekend. It's just super fun. And it's been really hard the past few years, because we've had to do this virtually. And it's just, you know, we hate that for them, because they haven't passed a couple classes haven't had that same experience. But we'll get back there.

Venkat Raman  15:37  

Absolutely, absolutely. We are getting there. So all of this happens in what I mean, two or three months, right? Because you said end of December, the applications you take except to have December 31. Sometime. So you do this probably in the first quarter, right of the calendar year each. Yeah,

Carolyn N  15:54  

well, yes. But it keeps going. So they have to the first phase one, the online applications are August 1 to October 31. Oh, so October 31, October 31. So they have to apply by October 31. And then in mid January, we have the Program Review Committee coming in to read and the applications and select our semi finalists, and then February we interview them. So by March, the very beginning of March at the latest, we typically have our new class of scholars

Venkat Raman  16:33  

got it. Well, still pretty intense.

Venkat Raman  16:43  

But what are you guys looking for? I mean, what what is it that you see from these applications, what kind of things make the mark or make the grade?

Carolyn N  16:53  [What does Coca-Cola look for in the Scholars?]

It it can vary, but honestly, I mean, they, the people that and I don't want to deter anybody from trying, because you don't have to have started a nonprofit in high school, but a big part of them have it just, they're just these go getters. They kind of see the bigger picture early on. And they are and they have a heart for, you know, community service and public policy and social impact. And they're just really, they're doing just big things as high schoolers. I mean, we and they also in their stories play into it a lot as well. Like what, you know, what was we're looking for a lot of passion there. And so what if they started a nonprofit, or they've raised $30,000, for a charity? through high school? Why was that? You know, what, what's the impetus to that, and, you know, and then just their drive the motivation behind what they do, but they really have to be strong leaders in their high school and out. And, and also really strong in service. So those are the, of course, academics, they have to have a 3.0 or above average, but many, you know, many of them. I mean, they're very high in academics as well, of course, yes.

Venkat Raman  18:31  

So now, how much has changed? Have you seen in your couple of decades now with this? of applications? I mean, how have students changed?

Carolyn N  18:41  [Changes over the last 2 Decades]

Gosh, they were seeing a lot more STEM related interests, you know, than ever before, for sure. And so that's been a big one. But what we look for hasn't changed, but definitely their interests, I would say, have probably changed over time. Like I said, I've only been there 20 years, but that's still long enough to see. You know, what it used to be like versus now. And I mean, they're just very, I think even more than ever, they're really interested in, in social impact and even government and all kinds of just the kind of things that are affecting them as young people these days as well. You know.

Venkat Raman  19:36  

Any any specific programs that you guys have that enable, you know, scholars across time to interact?

Carolyn N  19:47  [Kinds of Alumni Programs]

Yes. And we're always we're always it's never enough in my mind. So that we're always working on is what are more ways that we can involve the scholars who want to get more involved one To be more active in the network, but we start, you know, when they come for scholars weekend, that's kind of where it all starts. And we do the leadership development with them so that we call it LDI Leadership Development Institute. So that that's kind of the first thing and that, you know, I mentioned before some alumni act as facilitators for that, well, then, throughout college, they have the option to be part of a coaching program, where one of our older scholars is matched with a, our freshmen Koch scholar. And they, they go through the alumni go through training with the Center for Creative Leadership, who we we partner with on the coaching program. So there's a good a good amount of them in their freshman year that are involved in the coaching program. And that's been really successful. And then leadership and service Summit. So every five years, we have these big leadership summits, and usually in Atlanta, where all all Koch scholars are invited back, and we have service summits on on those other years, often we you know, and where we kind of we meet in a certain city around the US and just kind of look at the government there, and the kind of things going on that, you know, we help give back to their community and talk to the local mayor, and all kinds of things to learn how that city is making an impact and where and how we can help with that. And then, gosh, they're the Alumni Board, our selection committees, they can we use alumni for all of that, even from reading the applications. You know, we have some of them, any scholars in college admissions? Yeah, regional networking events, and an COVID kicked us into as did a lot of people kind of the virtual learning space that we hadn't really entered into yet. So, you know, over the past few years, we've had scholars come in, we call them code scholar, pro events where they can, if you're a pro at something, and putting that in quotes, you can, you know, teach lead other code scholars in a virtual that, or virtual learning class kind of thing, like a master class. And it that's just been really cool to see them come together for that we did. We did virtual book clubs and Real Talk events, you know, just centering around diversity and equity and what that looks like, and all kinds of all kinds of things like that. So yes, we offer a lot.

Venkat Raman  23:04  

No, this is awesome. In fact, I love the what you just said about masters class, I mean, getting alumni together and a person with a certain proficiency, if you will, you know, can share their skills, or you know, the workshops, and I think it was just wonderful. Yeah.

Carolyn N  23:23  

Yeah, even I mean, I'm telling you, even I just, I have had a ball with those just getting to elicited and worrying about artificial intelligence and filmmaking and songwriting and things that I certainly didn't know about. And a lot of our scholars didn't, and it's just, and then some many that did, and they just get to kind of enhance their own skills. But it was, it was really cool. Really, it's been a lot of learning for all of us. So that's fun.

Venkat Raman  24:01  

So what is the, what does the scholarship offer? I mean, so the ones, the 150 that make it what do they get?

Carolyn N  24:08  [What do Scholars get?]

Yes, the great question. They, of course, they get money for college and so $20,000 towards their college education, but that is spread out over over there for years, but they can they can defer it up to 10 years so they could use it towards graduate school if they want down the road. But it's funny because you know, these days that is it, for sure. Puts a dent into things for college but college is so crazy expensive these days. Right. Yeah, you know what, what I what we all say is, you know goes far beyond that, I think is the community and we it really I know it sounds cliche, but it's it's a family feels like this bigger A family. And we really instill that in them from the moment they come to scholars weekend, you know that you are now part of something much bigger than yourselves and, and you, you get to be part of this network now of, you know, 6600 cope scholars that go back to 1989. And it's crazy because, you know, we have our scholars in 1989 either won a $1,000 scholarship from us or 20,000. And, and I'm, I mean, I could name you know, a bunch of those 1989 scholars that only won $1,000 from us who are still just very involved in this network in this community today. And so, that, to me, that says a lot about how much it means to them. So yeah, it's we've done all kinds of impact studies over the years with them, like it surveys and things like that, where we've found that it's, like 80% or so consider the Koch scholars family, like one of their favorite their top three networks, even more so than college, their College Alma Mater, you know, so it's, it's really, it's just amazing.

Venkat Raman  26:34  

I just thought maybe you could share some success stories where however you define success, with the alums, the alumni, you know, scholars who gone on to do things, maybe some vignettes are little examples.

Carolyn N  26:52  [Success Stories - Alumni]

Yeah. Well, you know, this part will probably speak to many people in, in the Alumni Relations kind of world because it's really hard when you talk about defining success, it's so hard to measure. Like, we all, you know, people talk about ROI, like, what's your return on investment, but in our world, it's more like, are we What's your return on engagement? And, you know, and so, it's hard to define relations or to measure relationship building, right? Because that's a big part of what it is and those connections, but we are constantly trying to do that better and better each year.

Carolyn N  27:39  

So as far as the network goes, it's crazy how amazing and diverse it is. Coke scholars are visionary leaders and change agents, trailblazers, lifelong learners. I mean, we could go on and on about the the amazing people that they are, but they're all committed to service and giving back on our website, you'll see that we talk about them being a force for good in the world. And it's really true. They're they're doing some incredible things. You know, their doctors, lawyers, educators, politicians, parents, some are running their own nonprofits, and others are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. It's really kind of crazy. We even have a US senator and some Congress, men and women mayors, Miss America's NFL players. It's, it's a little crazy. But But yeah, there's, it's the coolest thing to me is there's really not an occupation or industry that a Coke scholar is not part of. And that's, that's pretty unique, and they're always willing to help each other and mentor each other, which I love. We have this common phrase that we use among our team a lot. And we'll say it to Coke scholars when we get them together. But we always say that magic happens when Coke scholars connect with each other come together, in person or, or virtually. And it's, it's so true.

Carolyn N  29:22

So, but it's hard because we we define success more in terms of the kind of Are they active citizens in their, in their communities? Are they active in their communities in any way? You know, because we don't care if you're a stay at home parents, or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, you like all cope scholars truly have been successful in their own ways, you know, and and we're so proud of all of them. So that's been really cool. I mean, there's definitely ones that you know, you can see it on our website, but people that we've done stories over the years like in you may have heard of them. Michael Tubbs is one he's a 2008 scholar who became mayor of Stockton California for I think eight I want to say eight years. It was quite a quite a while and he was super young and and successful in his role there and Athena Lao who introduced me to you, who's a, you know, 2008 scholar and doing amazing work in higher ed and Kavita Shukla, who's the new 2002 scholar who invented fresh paper. She's like in the Smithsonian now, among many other women leaders, and it just I can't it's, it goes on and on. Shaun Patel, we've had a bunch that have been on Shark Tank over the years and yes, it's their product and one and investment from the sharks on ABC and one of them was Shawn Patel and Christopher Gray is another I mean, I could go on and on. But like I said, the stories on our scholars are really endless. Because, I mean, we also had so many that, you know, when the pandemic hit, they just really took action and found ways to connect people, you know, to their loved ones, when they are in the hospitals, and just all these things that that are equally as beautiful and important. You know, so? Yeah.

Venkat Raman  31:47

For the high schoolers out there listening to this, what would you say? And, obviously, you guys are a big name, and scholarships. You know, you'd mentioned that there may be other avenues as well. So maybe you could speak to that to high schoolers, both about first about the Coca Cola Scholars Program, and then maybe other other opportunities?

Carolyn N  32:13  [Advice to High Schoolers]

Yes, Well, absolutely. We, because it has the Coca Cola name attached to it, you know, yes, we get many, many applications. But we really, I don't want to deter anybody from applying, because even a lot of people here, oh, gosh, they get 90,000 applications, like I wouldn't possibly have a chance. But I promise you that every Koch scholar since 1989, will tell you that they cannot, they can't believe that they became a Koch scholar, you know, like, even if they were doing the most amazing things in high school, they're all pretty. We've heard that from almost everybody, you know, like, how did I win the scholarship back in the day, so you just never know, it's, it's always just like everything, it's always worth a try. And so if you are a high achieving high schooler who is really strong and service and leadership and academics up, you know, employment, by the way, is a big part of that, because a lot of our scholars have to work to help their families. That's great, too. But if you're a high achieving high school student, I would, you know, I would really encourage everybody to apply. But also, there's so many scholarships out there. And of course, you know, we love ours, we encourage everyone to apply for ours. On our website, we list I think it's under Programs at the top, you'll, if you scroll to the bottom, you'll see a list of other resources. Scholarly is a great source for like to have on your phone, like a scholarship application sites. And it was started by a code scholar Christopher Gray, who attended 2010 scholar, and it's, you know, that's one of the many ways I mean, believe fast web and things like that are still out there. But you're, hopefully the your guidance counselor at your high school will, will point you in the direction of the right kind of scholarships for you to apply for. But there is so much money out there to to be had, you know, towards scholarships. And so I just highly encourage people to do their research, it takes it takes time, it takes a lot of a lot of time to look this up and to research it, but they are out there. And hopefully our website will point them towards lots of different kinds of things out there for them. And and application or sites like Scholly as well.

Venkat Raman  35:08  

Is there anything during the four years that they are getting. Access to the alumni? Is there anything else that is available to them?

Carolyn N  35:18  [Benefits while in College]

Yeah, so will like so I was mentioning the coaching program. So during their four years of undergrad, the coaching program is one and and we have different ways of connecting them on campuses, they all get list of the other co scholars on their campus. So we connect them that way. But also they get to be part at one thing I completely forgot to mention, which is pretty important is we have we now have this online alumni networking platform called coop scholars connect. And it's exclusive for scholars. We have a partnership with a company called graduate who, who creates these platforms and they can so as soon as you become a code scholar and we go through like the orientation part with you and you know what you need to do to get your scholars Ship checks each year and things like that, then they get to be part of this virtual network where they can apply for jobs like Coke scholars will, if their company has a job opening, they'll post it there in the job site, they so you have access to some amazing job offer, I mean, not offers, but you know, to apply for jobs opportunities. post jobs apply for jobs register for our events, lucky they can the directory in the directory, they can look each other up by location and industry and interest in job title and class and all of that so, and then much more it kind of it's kind of their one stop shop, to this exclusive network. So yeah, I mean, you know, and then from there a list of the many things after they graduate as well. But yeah, it's pretty, it's pretty cool. It from the very beginning, they, they are part of this 6600 People network. So

Venkat Raman  37:24  

that's an amazing resource. That's what you know, the online platform will be an amazing resource. Absolutely. Yeah.

Carolyn N  36:21  

And then can I should mention one of the things we're really working on now, we just did a strategic plan. And we're really excited about the future of the scholars foundation and and our network of scholars over the years. And one of the things we're working on right now is a roadmap of alumni engagement. And, you know, what is it basically in a sense, what does that look like, from the beginning? Like, from the moment you become a coke scholar to the moment, you, you die? I mean, like, or, you know, as long as you want to stay involved with us, like, what does that look like over the course of those years? And how do we, what's the best way to measure the engagement of that? So we're really working as a team, we have an awesome, talented team of just seven of us just seven strong, but But yeah, we're just we're looking at that and talking to other organizations and because by just to be clear, we are not the only people doing doing this, you know, I think we've definitely been a model for for a lot of scholarship providers over the years. But we also have learned from our peer, we have many amazing peers in this industry, who we're learning from as well. So it's something you're seeing more and more with, of with scholarship providers who realize the importance of it and the value that their alumni bring to their network. And, and, and bring to their scholarship, you know, and over the years. So I mean, it's pretty cool. So yes, we're working on this engagement model, and in the next year to hope to have like a really solid kind of roadmap, I guess, in that sense.

Venkat Raman  39:32  

Cool, so we're going to start winding down so Carolyn, any thoughts, closing thoughts before we sign off here?

Carolyn N  39:44  [Close: Chronicling Your Activities from 9th Grade]

Oh, goodness, I would say. I mean, like, like I said, Before, I just really, I want to encourage people to, if you're a young if you're a high school student now, one of the big things to me is like, if you're a ninth grade, for example, go on and start keeping track of everything you do over your high school career. Because not just for our scholarship, but most of the scholarships out there are going to want to know like all the amazing things about you through your, your high school career. So keep track of it almost like an ongoing resume. Because that will help that will help you so much when you are a senior and you're trying to apply for for scholarship money. So, so keep track of that and just just do it. I mean, to quote just do it, you know, it is it's so worth it. If you don't get it then you tried at least you couldn't feel good about about that and hopefully but you very well could get it and or and if not ours, many others and it's just it. There's no reason not to no reason not to and if you're a scholarship provider or you know somebody that has an ally on the network out there or wants to start one, I'm always happy to talk to people. And I love I love like sharing best practices with other organizations. And also, there's, I just want to if you are a scholarship provider out there, like, you know, know where your scholars are going in life, like, it's just so important. And you never one thing I didn't even mention, it's kind of important, but you never know how they're going to give back over the years like, and they've even for us, they've started giving back financially, we always say with with their time, talent and treasure, and, and it can bring just so much value and benefits to you as a as an organization, but also to their lives and they start to see it. And they're they want to give back to organizations that have helped them like that over the years. So it's a great thing.

Venkat Raman  42:13  

Yeah, yeah. Awesome. So thank you so much, Carolyn, for taking the time. You're doing great work as part of this Coca-Cola Scholarship Foundation. I thank you for your time. And thank you for all the work and continue to do so. And I hope the listeners Take heed, and I'm sure you will probably get I don't know, we can't beat the 90,000 but hopefully, get a few more few more applications. A whole bunch of this inspired a whole bunch. So cool. Thank you so much, Carolyn, take care of

Carolyn N  42:49  

Thank You. Thank you so much. Appreciate it Venkat.

Venkat Raman  42:54  

Good bye.

--------------------------------

Venkat 43:01

Hi again!

Hope you enjoyed this podcast with Carolyn Norton, Alumni Relations Manager at Coca Cola Scholars Foundation.

Carolyn gave us a great overview of The Coca Cola Scholarship, How to Apply for the Scholarship, What they look for in their Scholars, The range of benefits Scholars receive during their college years and Alumni Engagement Programs beyond college.

Hope you explore the Coca-Cola Scholarship to see if it is for you. If it is Apply!

For questions or comments on this podcast, please email podcast at almamatters.io [podcast@almamatters.io].

Thank you all so much for listening to our podcast today.

Transcripts for this podcast and previous podcasts are on almamatters.io forward slash podcasts [almamatters.io/podcasts].

To stay connected with us, Subscribe to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Spotify or visit anchor.fm forward slash almamatters [anchor.fm/almamatters] to check us out.

Till we meet again, take care and be safe.

Thank you!

Summary Keywords

Podcast for High Schoolers, High School Students, Scholarship, #CokeScholars, Coke Scholars, Coca-Cola Scholarship Foundation, College Podcast, US Colleges, College Admissions, College Applications, undergraduate, Alumni Scholars.


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