July 2020 Connections

Coke Scholars Real Talk

CCSF hosted the first forum of the new Coke Scholars Real Talk series, “What it Means to be Black in America: The pride, the struggles, and the fight for racial equality.”

Thank you to Justin J. Pearson (2013), Lillian Singh (2000), Torarie Durden (1994), Angela Harrell (1991), and Quinn Rallins (2004) for sharing your personal experiences so openly and giving the Coke Scholars community the opportunity to learn and grow together.

The Real Talk series is designed to share our collective experiences from varied points of view. Together, we will cover topics like: being Black in America, racial inequality, religion, LGBTQ rights, gender bias in the workplace, and more. Though the conversations may be challenging the goal is the same, to better understand one another.

Panelist Justin J. Pearson (2013)
Panelist Lillian Singh (2000)
Panelist Quinn Rallins (2004)
Panelist Angela Harrell (1991)
Panelist Torarie Durden (1994)
Group photo

Coke Scholars Book Club

TJ Abrams (2001, top left) facilitated two meeting of the Coke Scholars Book Club. The group discussed the book Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

First meeting
Second meeting

Virtual LDI

2020 Coke Scholars are participating in the Coca-Cola Scholars Leadership Development Institute (LDI) virtually. 30 alumni facilitators are leading them through a curriculum that teaches an inside-out perspective of leadership focusing on 4 pillars: empathy, self-awareness, vision, and inspiration.

Jesse Bernal (2000, middle) and 2020 Scholars (from upper left) Aaron Ventresca, Betel Tenna, Patrick Newcombe, Aisha Chebbi, and Madeleine LeBeau.
Marly Q Casanova (2002, middle) and 2020 Scholars (from upper left) Aissa Dearing-Benton, Judy Zhou, Aaron DeNicola, Aryaman Sharma, and Cameron Thomas.
One group and two meetings! Jolene Loetscher (1997, top right in both pictures) and 2020 Scholars (from top left of left picture) Aarthi Koripelly, Kevin Meng, Selena Zhang, Annika Huprikar, and Ruba Memon.
3 meetings with (bottom picture) Courtney Lynn (1996, middle), and 2020 Scholars (starting from top left of bottom picture) Aimee Yan, Karina Vasudeva, Emma-Katherine Bowers, Brooke Chow, and Carson Moore.
Alice Park (1999, top) and 2020 Scholars Lucas San Miguel, Davia Allen, Ritvik Ramakrishnan, Neha Devineni, and Jack McConnell.

Virtual #CokeScholarsPro Classes

Led by Coke Scholars for Coke Scholars

Victor Lopez (2009, second from top left) led the class Combatting AI Enabled Misinformation for Democracy.
Gracie Schram (2016, in yellow box) taught Songwriting 101: A guide to storytelling and creativity.
Sravya Vishnubhatla (2013) led a Bolly Cardio class.

@CokeScholars Livestreams

As each new episode of The SIP, The Coke Scholars Ignite Podcast, is released, our hosts and guests have been taking the conversation live.

Daron Roberts (1997) went live with Jane Hale Hopkins (CCSF’s president) and Madi Pfaff Edgar (2013) on CCSF’s Instagram July 10. Jane announced the virtual Scholars Banquet would be taking place on August 6, and then Madi and Daron talked about the fifth episode of The SIP, Coding and Community Building.
Daron Roberts (1997) also went live on CCSF’s Instagram with David Akinin (2008), who joined all the way from Windhoek, Namibia, on July 24 and discussed the sixth episode of The SIP, Going All In: Activating Global Dreams.

Musical Collaborations

Jillian Roberts (2011, top) and Leia Schwartz (2014) teamed up to record this video of “Seasons of Love” which Leia sang and Jillian signed for Camp Boggy Creek. The camp, which is for seriously ill children, had to cancel their summer sessions due to COVID-19, so they have been working on virtual programming to bring the spirit of camp to those at home. Leia and Jillian were co-counselors at Camp Boggy Creek in 2015.

Game Nights

2009 Scholars got together over Zoom for a trivia and game night! They were joined by Katie Lash’s adorable twin girls and Vernon King’s adorable daughter Harlyn who he told them went viral when Beyonce, Oprah, The Today Show and others sent this video of her around.