DENVER, Nov. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Coca-Cola Foundation is continuing its support of first-generation Native American scholars through a generous donation of $250,000 to the American Indian College Fund. The Coca-Cola Foundation First Generation Tribal Scholarship Program will continue to increase access to higher education and leadership development opportunities for tribal college students that are the first in their families to attend college. At least one scholar at each of the 34 tribal colleges is selected to be a Coca-Cola scholar.
In addition to receiving scholarship awards up to $5,000, program participants also attend a fully funded week-long leadership development program called the American Indian Student Summer Leadership Training and participate in a reception recognizing their achievements in the spring. These programs are geared to encourage scholarship recipients, who often face more difficult challenges than other college students due to poverty, to stay in school.
Scholarship awards are renewable if awardees maintain a 3.0 grade point average, meet their tribal college's eligibility requirements for full-time status, and show involvement in leadership and campus life.
"At The Coca-Cola Company, we know that education has a major impact in building lives and sustaining communities," said Lori George Billingsley, Vice President, Community Relations, Coca-Cola Refreshments. "We created The Coca-Cola Foundation First Generation Tribal Scholarship Program in recognition of the many students who want access to college and the opportunity to change their lives, the lives of their families and their communities. We share this goal with the American Indian College Fund, and are proud to partner with them in supporting the students they serve at each of the tribal colleges."
"The Coca-Cola Foundation is leading the nation's business community by providing scholarship opportunities to highly qualified first-generation Native students," said Richard B. Williams, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund. "The Coca-Cola Foundation First Generation Tribal Scholarship Program is creating opportunities for American Indians who may otherwise be able to attend college, making a difference in their lives, the lives of their family, and their communities. The Coca-Cola Foundation's commitment to Native education is providing hope to American Indians and helping to change the face of Indian Country."
About The Coca-Cola Foundation
The Coca-Cola Foundation, the philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company, has contributed more than $340 million to help build sustainable communities worldwide through initiatives focused on water stewardship, active healthy living, community recycling, education, arts and culture and civic affairs.
About the American Indian College Fund
With its credo "Educating the Mind and Spirit," the American Indian College Fund is the nation's largest private provider of scholarships for American Indian students, providing an average of 6,000 scholarships annually for students seeking to better their lives and communities through education and support to the nation's 33 accredited tribal colleges and universities. For more information about the American Indian College Fund, please visit www.collegefund.org
SOURCE American Indian College Fund