Students named Coca-Cola Scholars semifinalists

(From left) Eastside's Akash Verma and Buchholz's Isabelle Tseng and Sophia Vernon were named Coca-Cola Scholars semifinalists.
(From left) Eastside's Akash Verma and Buchholz's Isabelle Tseng and Sophia Vernon were named Coca-Cola Scholars semifinalists. (Courtesy of ACPS)
Courtesy of ACPS

The annual Coca-Cola Scholars Program recently selected three Alachua County Public Schools (ACPS) students to the semifinalist round.

According to an ACPS release, the program awards scholarships to high school seniors based on their academic success, leadership and service to their schools and communities. The students are now in the running to become Coca-Cola Scholars, who are each awarded $20,000 in college scholarships.

The students include Isabelle Tseng and Sophia Vernon of Buchholz High School and Akash Verma of Eastside High School. The three are among 1,577 semifinalists chosen from more than 91,000 nationwide applicants.

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According to College, the Coca-Cola scholarship “is one of the more prestigious scholarships for high school students and has a rigorous admission process.”

“This is an amazing accomplishment,” said ACPS Superintendent Shane Andrew in a statement. “Not only have these students demonstrated their academic ability, but they’ve also shown a commitment to serving others in their schools and throughout the community.”

To be selected semifinalists, students must complete an application process outlining awards and honors they’ve received, participation in clubs and organizations, volunteer activities and any paid work experiences or internships. The program focuses on recognizing students’ initiative and leadership in school and community service.

By being named semifinalists, Tseng, Vernon and Verma are eligible to become regional finalists in the program. They will be submitting essays on their interests and activities as well as testimonials from others. Each of the 250 regional finalists will be interviewed by a panel before the 150 Coca-Cola Scholars are chosen. The names of the scholars will be announced in March of 2023.

Along with the scholarship, Coca-Cola Scholars will also participate in a Leadership Development Institute in Atlanta to develop their leadership skills and work on a group community service project.

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