Growing up as an African American during the ’70s, the valuable need for mentoring was constantly instilled upon me and my siblings. This “village” concept of mentoring extended beyond the boundaries of our bloodlines and communities. Mentors included teachers, pastors – even doctors and dentists. My siblings and I had at least one mentor to help guide us, especially when the time came for entering college.
Comic legend and talk show host Steve Harvey also recognizes the power of mentoring. “Having a mentor as a young man played a pivotal part in my success,” says Harvey. “In the African American community, moms take on the same role. Their involvement has a crucial impact on the development of their teenagers. Through the Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Academy, we can influence the lives of some truly deserving teens, while supporting and empowering their mothers,” says Harvey. He’s been involved with this mentoring program since 2012.
As Celebrity Ambassador for the 2015 Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Academy, Harvey will co-host a three-day, mentoring and college-education experience for the winners and their moms/legal guardians. The Academy takes place in Atlanta, July 24-26. This engaging program is created to endow moms as they prepare their teens for higher education. Academy participants will learn relevant topics such as; personal branding, preparing for higher education and selecting a career path. This year, Coca-Cola Pay It Forward program will have a special emphasis on African American moms, and their influence on the academic achievement of their teens. Moms will also find workshops, including; college financial preparation, self-empowerment and study skill support for their teens.
Up to 20 winners will each receive a $5,000 scholarship and invitation to the Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Academy. Travel will also be covered!!
“Since 2012, the Coca-Cola Pay It Forward program has offered African American teens and their moms valuable resources to help them pursue their personal and educational aspirations,” said Lauventria Robinson, Vice President, Multicultural Marketing, Coca-Cola North America. “We’ve partnered with Steve Harvey again because his strong commitment to mentoring and education continues to be an inspiration.”
Nominate a Pay It Forward Academy Student
From now through March 31: Parents, relatives, friends and mentors may nominate an ambitious teen for the Coca-Cola Pay It Forward, visit www.coke.com/payitforward . Program is open to high school students, grades 9-12 (nominees must be 13 by May 1, 2015), and moms/guardians who love and support their academic and civic endeavors. You must be 13 years of age or older to make nominations. Eligible high school teens may also nominate themselves. Winners will be selected and contacted near the end of May. Each winning student will receive a $5,000 scholarship to assist with his/her pursuit of higher education. Each winning teen also receives paid travel from hometown for them and their mom/legal guardian to attend the Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Academy July 24-26 in Atlanta, GA. Winners will be required to arrive on July 23, 2015, in order to participate in orientation activities.
Ways to Pay It Forward
There’s a myriad of ways to pay it forward. However, Coca-Cola invites everyone, especially African Americans nationwide to join them and Harvey in its movement to pay it forward. The Company suggests the following ways in order for “each one to reach one.” In this way, the next generation has a jumpstart toward achieving their educational aspirations: nominating an eligible teen for the Pay It Forward Academy; becoming a mentor; taking a teen to work; or donating to support an academic scholarship.