The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation Alumni Advisory Board (“A.A.B.”) was formed in 2006 by alumni Scholars who wanted to see the Scholars Foundation have a governing alumni board. Their mission is to “support the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation’s (CCSF) mission and goals by, among other things, serving as a liaison between Coca-Cola Scholars and CCSF, administering the CCSF Alumni Scholarship and furthering the personal and educational development of Coca-Cola Scholars”. Currently 15 alumni serve on the A.A.B. on a three year rotation. This year they voted on five new members, John-Paul Adrian (2003), Julie Gehrki (1998), Crystal Williams (2003), David Buckholtz (1993) and Austin Shaw (2009 Sandy Williams Alumni Legacy Scholar). Let us introduce you to two of those new members this month, and next month you will meet the others.
John-Paul Adrian is a 2003 Coca-Cola Scholar from Kalamazoo, Michigan. He is a graduate of University of Notre Dame. John-Paul served with Camp Coca-Cola in St. Louis in 2005, and his work was recognized by fellow counselors and staff through the 2005 Cornerstone Society Award. As an officer with the U.S. Air Force, John-Paul served as one of the youngest Security Forces Unit commanders with an elite tactical unit while also helping to foster the importance of community service throughout his bases and communities. Because of his volunteer work, he received the Department of Defense Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
John-Paul is now an Air Force ROTC instructor at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, where he is teaching leadership studies to future Air Force officers. In October, he and his wife Amanda were married in Athens, Georgia, where they currently reside.
Julie Gehrki is a 1998 Scholar from Arkadelphia, Arkansas. She has been working for the Walmart Foundation in Fayetteville since 2008 and is currently serving as their Senior Director of Business Integration. The Walmart Foundation funds initiatives focused on education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. Prior to her job with the Walmart Foundation, Julie worked in the nonprofit community on issues of anti-racism, homelessness, and community revitalization. Internationally, she has done program evaluation in Kenya and Tanzania and taught English in Eastern Europe. Julie has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion from Rhodes College and a Master of Arts in Public Service from The Clinton School of Public Service. She was also a Jane Addams-Andrew Carnegie Fellow at Indiana University’s School of Philanthropy.
In her spare time, Julie loves to travel and is going to Nepal this month. She has a rescue Snoodle named Desmond Tutu. And she loves yoga—although she doesn’t get to practice as much as she would like!