BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — First generation college students are getting more than a Coke and smile thanks to a grant from the Coca-Cola Foundation. On Monday, the foundation announced that it would be presenting 31 first-generation CSUB students with $3,000 each in scholarships.
"We believe education holds an extraordinary promise to change lives,” said Helen Smith Price, President, The Coca-Cola Foundation. “By providing college scholarships to students who are the first in their families to attend college, we hope to encourage them to pursue their academic dreams and realize their full and unique potential.”
The program, modeled after one at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, recognizes without someone with experience to guide them, college can be a difficult path for new students.
“Navigating the college experience can be intimidating for students who don’t have a family member to guide the way,” said Dr. Lynnette Zelezny, CSUB President. “At CSUB, we understand the need to offer help, support and encouragement, which is why we have created the First Generation Initiative.”
The recipients will be chosen from a pool of incoming undergraduate freshman that have a financia need, a 3.0 GPA and can show they are the first in their immediate family to attend college.
“The scholarships provided by The Coca-Cola Foundation will close the financial gap that can be daunting to first-generation students and make them question their ability to continue at CSUB,” said Dr. Harper. “This welcome support will enhance the college experience for first-generation students and help them graduate on time.”