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Coca-Cola Gives $665,000 to Clayton State Toward First Generation, Women in STEM Scholarships

Clayton State University is embarking on an ambitious project to transform the quality of life for communities in the south metro Atlanta region, in addition to increasing outcomes for students, and it’s getting some help from Coca-Cola.

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The Coca-Cola Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the beverage giant, has granted the university $665,000 to create 70 scholarships for students who are either first generation or women.

The scholarships will support research and analysis in the areas of watershed/waterways quality, community-focused wellness, social innovation and civic engagement.

“Often our campaigns are solely focused on fund raising activities, but Beyond Our Walls will allow us to live out the final phase of the University’s Strategic Plan 2022 in addition to meeting the charge set out by the University System of Georgia’s 2024 Plan calling us to focus on Community Impact,” says Chase Moore, vice-president of University Advancement and External Affairs. “Both plans have helped us zero in on how to we as a community of learners become better stewards of place.”

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Clayton State will create four needs-based scholarship programs for eligible students:

  • First Generation Scholars in Wellness cohort: 10 scholarships in the amount of $9,500 each for identified first generation students pursuing careers in areas related to health, health administration and wellness. The cohort will work with faculty, staff, and partnering organizations to create wellness assessments to better understand the health needs of communities surrounding the university. Students will also engage in community outreach along with faculty to educate citizens on issues of morbidity as well as health disparities exacerbated by COVID-19.
  • First Generation Scholarships in Civic Engagement cohort: 10 scholarships in the amount of $9,500 each for identified first generation students pursuing careers in related civic, political science, sociology or criminal justice fields of study. This cohort will work with faculty to develop curriculum designed to help college students understand their relationship to all levels of government so as to develop a civic identity. Students will also engage with regional leaders to discuss a wide range of policy initiatives, both at the municipal and state level.
  • Women in STEM cohort: 20 scholarships in the amount of $9,500 each. Fifteen scholarships will be awarded to women in support of environmental research, namely water quality research and testing in partnership with the Clayton County Water Authority and other organizations dedicated to preserving natural water-sheds and wetlands. Five additional scholarships would be awarded to women studying mathematics and statistics to provide support in data-analytics for all research projects conducted by the cohorts.
  • Scholarships in Social Innovation cohort: 10 scholarships in the amount of $9,500 each for students that are either first generation or women interested in STEM fields. Qualifying students may be considered from a wide range of degree programs. This cohort will work with faculty to identify persistent and systemic problems facing communities in south metro Atlanta. They will engage with local leaders and community members to design programs that lead to innovative and sustainable solutions to advance the historically under-served communities within the university’s service area.
  • Women in Leadership cohort: 20 scholarships in the amount of $9,500 each for women pursuing higher education in business related fields. This cohort will engage with faculty from the College of Business to explore contemporary issues women face related to bias and leadership development.

This scholarship gift continues the relationship Clayton State University and the Coca-Cola Foundation began in 2017 when $500,000 was donated to support first-generation students, as well as those interest in STEM fields and supply chain.

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