Indiana University receives $100,000 to help first-generation students from Indiana

Nov. 11, 2013


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded $100,000 to Indiana University to provide financial assistance to exceptional Indiana high school students who are the first in their immediate families to attend college. The grant will provide $5,000 Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarships to five students each year for four years, totaling $20,000 per student.

"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 of community relations for 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."

Founded in 1984, The Coca-Cola Foundation is the philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company. Since its inception, The Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded more than $500 million to support global sustainable community initiatives, including water stewardship, community recycling, active healthy living and education.

Five student scholars were selected as inaugural Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship recipients. To be considered for the scholarship, applicants were required to be Indiana residents, enrolled as freshmen at the IU Bloomington campus for the fall of 2013, and the first in their family to pursue a college degree. Applicants outlined their academic information, extracurricular involvement and what it personally meant to be first-generation college students. 

"With this scholarship, I have opportunities my parents never really had," said Victoria Consolvo of Brownsburg. "As the first in my family to attend college, I take great pride in what I -- and everyone who has supported me -- have done to make it to this point. This scholarship gives me the chance to pursue my education with confidence." 

Kayla Grotrian of New Haven is looking forward to challenging herself at IU. "This scholarship takes part of the burden of paying for college off of my shoulders so I can really concentrate on my studies and new opportunities," she said.

Brennen Horton of Cicero is majoring in business management at the Kelley School of Business. "With the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship, I can worry less about how I pay for college and focus more on how I am going to graduate being the best that I can be," he said.

For Clarissa Slabaugh of Goshen, IU was love at first sight. "I fell in love with the campus and the people the first time I visited," she said. "It’s truly an honor to be selected to receive this new scholarship. With it I will be able to reach all my educational goals."

Andrea Riffel of Martinsville is majoring in nursing. "This scholarship allows me to spend more time on my education and less on working to pay for it," she said.

"On behalf of the Office of Scholarships and the IU Foundation, I would like to thank The Coca-Cola Foundation for its generosity and scholarship support," said Ron McFall, interim director of the Office of Scholarships at IU Bloomington. "I look forward to watching these five Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars achieve their educational goals at Indiana University."

Founded in 1936, the Indiana University Foundation maximizes private support for Indiana University by fostering lifelong relationships with key stakeholders and providing advancement leadership and fundraising services for campuses and units across the university.

Today, the foundation oversees one of the largest public university endowments in the country, with a market value in excess of $1.7 billion. In fiscal year 2013, IU received $305.9 million in support from the private sector. IU is consistently ranked among the top four of Big Ten universities in annual voluntary support.