The College of Charleston received a $100,000 grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation to establish the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars Program for 2013-14. It is the first-ever scholarship program devoted to ensuring access for highly qualified first generation students at the College.

This grant funded five South Carolina students to receive $5,000 per year for four years to assist with tuition and fees. They will also be required to fulfill a contract committing them to frequent development counseling (financial and career workshops), academic support services, civic engagement, cultural development – all to achieve the ultimate goal of graduation.

The Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars include: Sam McCauley from Greenville, S.C.; Cheri Hainsworth of Spartanburg, S.C.; Ariel McShane of Spartanburg, S.C.; Erin Spencer, of York, S.C., and Meagan Dunham of Marion, S.C.

“These scholarships provide life-changing experiences for our students, “ says George Hynd, provost and executive vice president of academic affairs. “We are grateful to the Coca-Cola Foundation for their partnership. Their generosity gave five motivated and talented students the opportunity to realize their educational and career goals.”

The primary goal of the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars Program is to provide access and support to first-generation students, thereby fulfilling the College’s mission of educating a diverse, well-qualified student population. In-state incoming freshmen were selected based on the following criteria:

1)      South Carolina resident

2)     Highly qualified first generation student (in immediate family)

3)     Financial need

4)     3.0 G.P.A.

5)     Distinguished academic, leadership and service qualities

“As one of the keys to building sustainable communities, we actively support educational programs for students of all ages,” said Lori George Billingsley, Vice President, Community Relations, Coca-Cola North America Group. “The Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship commends those trailblazing students and empowers them to be leaders in their families and communities.”