May 2019 Connections

California Receptions

We are fortunate to have visited with more than 160 Coca-Cola Scholars and alumni in Los Angeles, Palo Alto, and San Francisco this May.

Our first stop was Los Angeles, where Brady Beaubien (1997) hosted a beautiful event on the rooftop of his company in West Hollywood, complete with views of the Hollywood sign and surrounding area. More than 50 Scholars and alumni attended. A big thanks to Brady for hosting and sharing the work he’s doing at Cineconcerts and why he loves being part of the Scholars family with the group. See more pictures.
Our San Francisco reception was held at the Google Community Space along the Embarcadero with views of the Bay Bridge, and Jay Girotto (1992) shared why he gives back to CCSF with the more than 70 Scholars and alumni who attended. A big thanks to Marc Robert Wong (2015) and his organization TeenTechSF for partnering with us to organize the event. See more pictures.
The last stop was Palo Alto, where about 40 Scholars and alumni gathered in Toyon Hall on Stanford’s campus. Thanks to Grant Means (2012) and Timothy Lann (2015) who helped us coordinate the event. See more pictures.
While in California, CCSF staff also caught up with Sean Rossal (2000)…
Harriet Patterson (1994) here with Jay Girotto (1992)…
Wesley Ford (2009)…
…and Bret Bechis (2001).

We also visited with Jason Pate (2005) and forgot to snap a picture!

Connections Around the Country

Victoria Bredt (2006), Kate Wesler (2010), and Kyle Baldwin (2008) attended the 2019 American Indian College Fund 30th Annual Flame of Hope Gala in New York City as guests of The Coca-Cola Company.

From left to right: Sydnee Bugg (former Coca-Cola intern), Felicia Wasson (Director, Community and Stakeholder Relations, The Coca-Cola Company), Victoria Bredt (2006), Kate Wesler (2010), Kyle Baldwin (2008), Della Britten Baeza (President & CEO, Jackie Robinson Foundation).

The next day, Victoria wrote to Felicia Wasson and our friends at The Coca-Cola Company, “Thank you for inviting me and other Coca-Cola Scholars to yesterday’s event! Throughout today, I found myself telling my colleagues at the NYC Department of Education about the incredible work of the American Indian College Fund and the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. I spoke specifically about the work of the College Fund to support and build up indigenous communities, and Coca-Cola’s commitment over thirty plus years to ensuring that indigenous peoples’ educations are prioritized and celebrated. I am proud to be a Coca-Cola Scholar, especially when I get to experience and see first-hand how Coca-Cola lives and breathes the values of scholarship, education, and community commitment.”
2013 Scholars Joel Bervell (middle) and Joe English (right) attended the 2019 GLAAD Awards in New York City as guests of The Coca-Cola Company.

Joel wrote, “There were so many moving speakers. Just to name a few we heard from: Madonna(!!) who was the honoree, Sara Jessica Parker, Chelsea Clinton, Anderson Cooper, Rosie O’Donnell, Don Lemon, Andy Cohen, Samantha Bee, and Billy Porter. Madonna was only a few feet away from us which was quite an experience AND we met and connected with so many individuals doing great work in the LGBT space.”

Joel and Joe started Hope in a Box after attending the GLAAD awards together 2 years ago. Hope in a Box is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that collaborates with public schools to make rural classrooms more LGBTQ-inclusive. Their mission is to cultivate open, accepting environments for LGBTQ students from a young age, paving the way for their well-being throughout life. Through literature donations, curriculum building, and educator coaching, they diversify narratives taught in schools and foster diversity literacy among educators.

Yazi Vismale (2017), Michael Woods (2013), Zak Marcone (2015), and Jeremiah Grant (2013) dined together at Mier Wang’s (2009) restaurant, Tabetomo, in New York City.
Jamie Williams (Director of Scholarships, CCSF, above) and Carolyn Norton (Alumni Relations Manager, CCSF) got to connect with Janelle Chavez (2015, above) at the Stamps Scholars banquet in Atlanta…
…where Daron K. Roberts (1997) was the keynote speaker!
A 2004 Scholar said hi to Justin Thatch (2019) in the airport after she saw his Coke Scholar luggage tag. He didn’t catch her name – let us know if it’s you!