Coca-Cola Foundation donates $50,000 for University Scholars
Posted: 05/12/2003
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The Coca-Cola Foundation is putting smiles on the faces of many students at The University of Texas-Pan American with its most recent contribution of $50,000 for the University Scholars program Monday, May 12 at the International Trade and Technology Building.

The Coca-Cola Foundation donated $50,000 to The University of Texas-Pan American Monday, May 12 during a press conference held at the UTPA International Trade and Technology Building. Pictured above from left to right is Kyle Yeary, Coca-Cola cold drink manager; Victor Reyna, Coca-Cola youth development representative; Carlos Ramos, Coca-Cola area vice president; Lee Guerra, Coca-Cola branch manager ; Amanda Garza, UTPA University Scholar; Dr. John Edwards, vice president for Enrollment and Student Services; Jesse Holguin, Coca-Cola district sales manager; and Roland S. Arriola, vice president for External Affairs.
"This was my dream to go to school and not have to worry about the bills and the tuition, and I thank you for making my dreams come true," said Amanda Garza, senior premedical/biology major. "In less than five days I will be walking across the stage in commencement and I know that this would not have been possible if it were not for the contribution your company has made for students like myself."

Garza - who will graduate with a 3.3 grade point average - plans to become a doctor and work with the National Institute of Health in Maryland. Garza said she could not have made a better choice for her higher education than attending UTPA.

University Scholars provides full four-year tuition and fee scholarships to qualified incoming freshmen. High school students must earn a "4" average in 12 hours of Advanced Placement (AP) credit in high school or have a "4" average in six hours of AP credit and a minimum ACT composite score of 24 or minimum SAT score of 1110.

"The mission of the foundation is to provide funding for new and innovative programs that enhance the educational opportunities for people in the communities that we serve," said Carlos Ramos, area vice president, Valley Coca-Cola Bottling Company. "I can't think of a better partner than UTPA."

This is the second installment of $100,000 donated to the University by the Coca-Cola Foundation. Coca-Cola and Valley Coca-Coca Bottling have supported UTPA programs and events for more than 10 years.

Ramos said the foundation supports educational programs in three areas: higher education, classroom teaching and learning, and international education.

"We do appreciate this generous donation from the Coca-Cola Foundation," said Dr. John Edwards, vice president for Enrollment and Student Services. "Our students have shown in high school that they are willing to take more rigorous course work for success later in life."

Joining Ramos at the news conference from Valley Coca-Cola were Kyle Yeary, cold drink manager; Lee Guerra, branch manager; Victor Reyna, youth development representative; and Jesse Holguin, district sales manager. The presentation was arranged with Roland S. Arriola, vice president for External Affairs at UTPA.

The University Scholars Program began in 1998 to promote academic excellence in high schools. In its first year, only 19 students qualified. Now, more than 400 students are expected to enroll this fall, according to Edwards.

In fact, UTPA is eighth in the state in the acceptance of AP credit for entering students and is second in The University of Texas System to The University of Texas at Austin.

Since 1990, the Coca-Cola Foundation has contributed more than $100 million to educational institutions.