The Gatton Academy's News Archive
Gatton Academy Senior Chosen as Coca-Cola Scholar Semifinalist
- Wednesday, November 8th, 2023
High school senior Sara Nath of The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science and Larry A. Ryle High School has been named a Semifinalist for the 2024 Coca-Cola Scholars Program, moving to the next round of the selection process to become a Coca-Cola Scholar and receive a $20,000 college scholarship. A joint effort of Coca-Cola bottlers across the country and The Coca-Cola Company, the Coca-Cola Scholars Program is the largest corporate-sponsored, achievement-based scholarship program in the United States. With the addition of the 2024 class, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation will have provided more than 6,900 Coke Scholars nationwide with over $84 million in scholarships over the course of 36 years.
“We believe that identifying these young leaders throughout the country and encouraging their passion for serving others not only empowers the students, but also lifts up those around them.” said Jane Hale Hopkins, President of the Foundation. “The Coca-Cola system is dedicated to giving back to the communities they serve, and the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation is proud to be a part of that commitment.”
Nath hopes to pursue a career at the intersection of computer science, biology, and business with dreams of building more accessible and equitable healthcare worldwide through computer science innovations. While at Gatton, Nath has conducted research at Brown University’s Center for Computational Molecular Biology through the Gatton Research Internship Grant program and is a team member at Western Kentucky University’s Center for Energy Systems (CES) Lab.
“My time at Gatton has been life-changing for me. I owe my selection as a Coca-Cola Scholar Semifinalist to the opportunities I have been able to explore through the Gatton program, and to the wonderful counselors, professors, and mentors whose support and guidance has shaped me. I am so honored by this recognition, and look forward to what comes next,” said Nath.
When Nath is not in class at WKU or conducting research, she serves as co-president of Gatton’s Computer Science and Women in STEM clubs. She has also worked with the INTERalliance of Greater Cincinnati, a nonprofit organization that creates computer science education and career opportunities for high school students in the Greater Cincinnati area, for the last four years.
“Sara Nath is a remarkable student and community member. She makes the most of opportunities that come her way and seeks out ways to make a difference for others. I am thrilled that her outstanding scholarship, community service, and leadership have been recognized by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation,” said Dr. Lynette Breedlove, Director of The Gatton Academy.
Semifinalists are now asked to complete Phase 2 applications, which include essays, a recommendation, and a transcript. An independent selection committee will review the applications and recommend 250 Regional Finalists in early January to take part in online interviews. 150 Coke Scholars will be named in late February to receive a $20,000 college scholarship and attend Coca-Cola Scholars Weekend in Atlanta, Georgia, April 25-28, 2024, where they will be the guests of honor at the 36th annual Coca-Cola Scholars Banquet and participate in the Coca-Cola Scholars Leadership Development Institute facilitated by program alumni.
In addition to receiving college scholarships, those students selected as Coca-Cola Scholars will be welcomed into a vibrant and growing community of alumni that has become a powerful force for positive change in the world. Through networking, collaborations, and friendships, the group strives to make a greater impact together. Recent initiatives include a podcast called The SIP (The Coke Scholars Ignite Podcast) and the eighth year of a coaching program that partners seasoned alumni with first-year Scholars as they transition to college. Every 5 years, all alumni are invited to a Coca-Cola Scholars Leadership Summit.
The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation celebrates and empowers visionary leaders who are refreshing the world. With its 35th class of Coca-Cola Scholars, the Foundation has provided more than $81 million in scholarships to over 6,750 program alumni who together have become a powerful force for positive change. Learn more at www.coca-colascholarsfoundation.org.
About The Gatton Academy: Established in 2007, The Gatton Academy is Kentucky’s first residential two-year program for gifted and talented juniors and seniors. The Gatton Academy’s students enroll as juniors and are full-time WKU students pursuing their interests in advanced science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The Gatton Academy is a recipient of the 2022 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from Insight Into Diversity Magazine and the Innovation Partnership Award from the National Consortium for Secondary STEM Schools.