Emily Nichols, the recent valedictorian at Port Allen High School in Port Allen, Louisiana, has been recognized as one of the country’s most outstanding high school leaders by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and has been awarded a $20,000 college scholarship. 

As a member of the 31st class of Coca-Cola Scholars, Nichols not only exemplifies superior leadership, service, and academics – she is a change agent, positively affecting others in her community. Nichols is one of 150 selected from more than 95,000 initial applicants from across the country to receive this scholarship.   

Nichols founded a media platform called Voice Out, which allows underrepresented youth to voice their opinions about issues in the media, politics, and other social mediums. She served as Head Fellow at Baton Rouge Youth Coalition and also was two-time State Champion in the Discus. She is a member of the Louisiana Youth Advisory Council, where she has helped write a bill that passed in the Louisiana Legislative Session making mental health education mandatory for all youth in Louisiana. Nichols was also Founder and President of Education is Hope Project which collected and donated over 300 books to a local adult reading center. 

A joint effort of Coca-Cola bottlers across the United States including Baton Rouge Coca-Cola and The Coca-Cola Company, the Coca-Cola Scholars Program is one of the largest corporate-sponsored, achievement-based scholarship programs of its kind. With the addition of the 2019 class, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has provided more than 6,150 Coke Scholars nationwide with over $69 million in scholarships over the course of 31 years. The 31st class of Scholars alone will collectively be awarded $3.1 million in scholarships. 

“We believe that identifying these young leaders throughout the country and encouraging their passion for serving others not only empowers the students, but also lifts up those around them,” said Jane Hale Hopkins, President of the Foundation. “The Coca-Cola system is dedicated to giving back to the communities they serve, and the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation is proud to be a part of that commitment.” 

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