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The Student News Site of Quakertown High School

Paw Prints

The Student News Site of Quakertown High School

Paw Prints

The Student News Site of Quakertown High School

Paw Prints

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Senior Student, Emily Parker, Receives Scholarship From the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation

Emily Parker

One remarkable senior from Quakertown Senior High School’s 2024 graduating class has been awarded a $20,000 scholarship from the Coca-Cola Scholarship Fund (CCSF). Emily Parker was recently awarded the prestigious scholarship. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation scholarship is a prestigious and highly competitive scholarship program. It is the largest corporate-sponsored, achievement-based scholarship program in the United States. The foundation has provided over 6,900 scholarships nationwide, totaling over $84 million in scholarships over the past 36 years. The scholarship is awarded to high-achieving high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, academic excellence, and a commitment to making a positive impact in their communities. The recipients of the scholarship become part of an exclusive network of scholars and are honored at an annual banquet. The application process includes submitting extracurricular activities, writing essays, and participating in a final interview. The foundation looks for passionate and driven individuals who show potential for future success.  


Emily was picked from an initial pool of more than 100,000 applicants with 150 scholars, which translates to 1% of the initial applicants who were awarded the scholarship. She was recognized as a guest of honor and received her scholarship at the 36th annual Coca-Cola Scholars banquet during the CCSF weekend in Atlanta from April 26-28. Receiving this scholarship and attending the banquet allowed Emily to join an exclusive network of scholars of all ages. 

Emily is a dedicated QCHS student and is committed to the University of Southern California. She plans to pursue pre-med studies in biomedical engineering to prepare for a career in advancing healthcare access. One of Emily’s greatest aspirations is to help make education, specifically STEM education, accessible to all. Emily has served as a volunteer tutor for Best Step Tutoring for three years and is now the head of operations, working behind the scenes to help students learn. Emily recently attended classes at Leigh University to pursue her career in biomedical engineering. She also volunteered at St. Luke Health Network where she was able to observe two neurosurgeries and four different departments within the hospital. She now works at the St. Luke Trauma Laboratory in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. 

Emily noted that accomplishing her set goals Accomplishing these and goals and putting herself out there in the field has led her down this path of success. “This just shows that putting yourself out there leads to more opportunity. If I didn’t volunteer at St. Luke, I wouldn’t have the job I have now,” said Emily. 

Winning this scholarship means great things for Emily and she is ecstatic to have earned this opportunity. 

Upon arriving for the weekend in Atlanta, scholars attended the banquet on the first night. Students were broken into small sections of 1-2. Emily detailed she sat with 6 donors and one alumnus of the program. The goal was to allow the scholars to get to know past scholarship recipients and donors because of the huge part they have in the program currently. The donors and alumni inquired about how Emily got to where she was and how she earned the scholarship. 

Emily detailed the process of how she applied for and received the CCSF scholarship. First, students were required to submit extracurricular activities to an online program. The algorithm then sorted the students by a point-based system(ex. the President of a club gets more points than a regular member) to determine the level of achievement of the student. Students are then accepted based on this point system to the semifinals or the next step in the application process. 

The second step requires students to write essays that the CCSF administration will then read. The essays have short prompts for the scholars to answer. Emily showed her passion for equality in the STEM field when she answered the question, ‘If you could create a college course what would you call it and what would it be about?’. Emily wrote about the college class she would create, calling it ‘HERstory’. She described the course as a history of women in the STEM field, and how most achievements of female scientists were credited towards men. Emily is passionate about this subject due to not only her interest in the STEM field but also her hope for equality in the future as a female going into a male-dominated field. Emily’s answers to these essay’s got her into the final round of the application process. 

The final step required Emily to meet with a board of 4 people. One of those people is on the foundation board, the other 3 are alumni of the CCSF. Each person gets the chance to ask the participant one question. The interview lasts 20 minutes with a strict cutoff at the end of the time. Participants are not aware of the questions they will be asked during the interview, however, Emily describes the meeting as very similar to a job or college interview. 

“They look for passion,” Emily said, “I included details about my passion and included details to show my personality. One of my questions was ‘If you could have dinner with two people, alive or dead, who would it be?’” 

This question lightened the mood for Emily and allowed her to connect with the previous scholars. She said this question made the interview easier for her and allowed it to feel more like a conversation. After completing the final round of the application, the scholars wait to find out whether they were accepted or not. If accepted, the scholars are then invited to the banquet mentioned earlier. 

After the banquet, Emily described a fun-filled, informative weekend full of meeting new people and learning new things. After the banquet scholars returned to their rooms to rest for the busy weekend ahead of them. The second day was filled with leadership panels for the students. 

“We were able to talk about how we can better ourselves to benefit our community- in whatever way that meant for us. It was really helpful to connect with other scholars and know that our insecurities don’t make us alone,” said Emily. 

After a day of enlightening panels, the scholars took a trip to a local middle school to volunteer and help the community. Emily spent the day working in the school’s garden to positively impact the community- one of Coke’s main objectives. Emily’s work in the community demonstrates the attributes of the student this fund seeks to recognize.

“Emily is truly an amazing student.  She is very motivated in school and is always looking for more opportunities to learn which is evident with this scholarship opportunity.   She is confident and well educated which will only help her continue to make a positive impact in science. Quakertown is proud to be able to congratulate Emily on this incredible accomplishment!” said Mrs. Hoffman, one of Emily’s inspiring mentors.

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About the Contributor
Maggie Wilson
Maggie Wilson, Staff Editor
Maggie Wilson is a sophomore at Quakertown High School. This is her first year as a PawPrints staff editor. Maggie likes to read and write and other than that loves to dance. She is very excited to write for the paper this year because she wants to be a journalist!

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