The SIP, short for The Coke Scholars Ignite Podcast, shares a taste of the Coke Scholars around the world who are igniting positive change.
Get to know the hosts of our first season!
Justin J. Pearson
2013 Coca-Cola Scholar
Special Assistant to the CEO of Year Up
Justin J. Pearson serves as our host throughout Season 1, introducing each episode’s host and guest. In addition to being a Coca-Cola Scholar, he is a Sandy Williams Alumni Legacy Scholar (SWALS). This scholarship is awarded to an active and passionate Coke Scholar who is an engaged and supportive alumnus, and embodies the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation’s mission as a socially conscious, service-minded change agent.
The fourth son of five boys born to teenage parents in Memphis, Tennessee, Justin J. graduated from Mitchell High School as Valedictorian in 2013 and Bowdoin College in 2017 majoring in both Government & Legal Studies and Education Studies.
He currently lives and works in Boston, Massachusetts, and is focused on social and economic justice as Special Assistant to the CEO of Year Up, a national program helping 18 to 24-year-olds gain training and entry-level jobs with corporate partners such as Bank of America, Facebook, and Walmart.
Justin J. is also the Founder of a Memphis-based summer enrichment program, Camp Hope Memphis, which he founded after his first year in college to provide enrichment for Memphis high school students. Justin J. Pearson has an unwavering commitment to justice and pursuit of opportunity for all people.
2003 Coca-Cola Scholar
TV Host & Media Entrepreneur
Whether in a lab, on a set, or reporting from the field, Albert Lawrence bridges connections between curious audiences and mind-blowing technology! His passion lies in revving people up to explore the world’s wonders – from ancient marvels to modern creations.
While at Yale University, Apple hired him to market its laptop line and wearable Nike+ products on-campus. He developed an inventive strategy to share the brand’s message with his peers by DJing events with his logo’d laptop and testing new devices at tailgate parties! HBO Asia then recruited him to spend a summer in Singapore and India where he researched the cultural and technical challenges facing television – by interviewing local residents and cable executives. Footage from his adventure abroad was featured on MTV’s Global Summers special.
Albert’s bright approach to mashing up technology with entertainment continues to guide his professional and playful pursuits. As a correspondent on the CBS series The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation, he introduces children and families to new inventions and technological advances. He’s served as a recurring correspondent and producer for ABC7 Eyewitness News in Los Angeles, hosted virtual reality experiences for Lexus, authored digital trending digests for Warner Bros, and won a Telly Award for content created through his production company Talk of Fame.
An avid explorer, Albert earnestly documents his travels on Instagram and YouTube – with tales of how low his stomach sank while climbing inside of a Great Pyramid or how much his stomach grew while eating his way through Bangkok.
Camping at Coachella, cosplaying at Comic-Con, covering the Oscars, Albert’s an assertive pop culture junkie – primed to debate topics ranging from country music to superhero flicks.
He works with the Television Academy Foundation, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, and the United Negro College Fund to inspire students to both construct their dream careers and contribute to the goals of others. He also enjoys emceeing national fundraising events for organizations like AVON 39: The Walk to End Breast Cancer and Equinox’s Cycle for Survival.
1997 Coca-Cola Scholar
Entrepreneur. Advocate. Community Builder. Jolene’s Law.
As one of the Midwest’s leading voices for protecting children and advocating for survivors of child abuse and sexual assault, Jolene Loetscher has put purpose to the pain of her childhood.
Jolene started her career as an award-winning television reporter. But in sharing her own story, she learned the power of public policy to change lives. She’s worked to repeal the statute of limitations on rape in South Dakota and is the namesake for Jolene’s Law, which has created the Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment and guides South Dakota’s plan to end child abuse by 2026.
As an entrepreneur, Jolene is CEO of the most honored same-day documentary and advertising agency, Mud Mile Communications and its newest division, Adrenaline Sports Marketing.
Jolene graduated top of her class from Northwestern University and received her MBA in Global Executive Leadership from the University of Nebraska. She’s also South Dakota’s first Presidential Leadership Scholar.
She lives in Sioux Falls with her husband, Nate Burdine, their daughter, Liberty, and pug, Mayhem Awesome.
Daron K. Roberts
1997 Coca-Cola Scholar
Founding Director of the Center for Sports Leadership & Innovation (CSLi), University of Texas
In the fall before his third year at Harvard Law School, Roberts decided to pursue a career in football coaching and wrote letters to college and professional football teams. The Kansas City Chiefs offered Roberts a training camp internship.
He leveraged that unpaid position into an assistant coach position. From Kansas City, Roberts went on to coach with the Detroit Lions, West Virginia Mountaineers and Cleveland Browns.
Today Daron serves as founding director of the Center for Sports Leadership & Innovation (CSLi) at the University of Texas. As a lecturer at the University of Texas, he focuses on issues of leadership and innovation in the sports arena. He also hosts A Tribe Called Yes, his podcast that brings you closer to the world’s most notorious risk-takers, trailblazers and enemies of the status quo.
He developed a course – A Gameplan for Winning at Life – that is taught to incoming freshmen student-athletes at the University of Texas. During the course of each academic year, Roberts teaches nearly 300 students.
Roberts has been recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader for creating a nonprofit football camp – 4th and 1, Inc. 4th and 1 provides free SAT prep, life skills development and football training to at-risk youth. The camp has served nearly 500 student-athletes since 2010.
He is a contributor to Forbes.com, and his articles have appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Fortune, Houston Chronicle, Texas CEO Magazine and Time. Find his book, Call an Audible: Let My Pivot from Harvard Law to NFL Coach Inspire Your Transition, on Amazon.