Coca-Cola UNITED Announces Winners of 2021 ‘Pay It Forward’ Internship


Contact: Cassandra Mickens, Coca-Cola UNITED


For Immediate Release

Coca-Cola UNITED Announces Winners of 2021 ‘Pay It Forward’ Internship

 Students representing 16 HBCUs receive $1K stipend, Coca-Cola ambassadorship

Birmingham, Ala. (July 29, 2021) – Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Inc. (UNITED) hosted the 2021 edition of its companywide “Pay It Forward” internship program July 27-29, providing exceptional students from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) the opportunity to celebrate their achievements and build on their success. In past years, “Pay It Forward” has been a weeklong, in-person experience, however, due to COVID-19 and safety protocols, the program went virtual for a second consecutive year.

This year’s students, representing 16 HBCUs located within Coca-Cola UNITED’s six-state footprint, submitted applications Feb. 1 through April 30. “Pay It Forward,” now in its sixth year, was actively promoted at participating HBCUs and select Walmart locations. The students were selected based on their standout applications, and each student receives a $1,000 stipend and a lifetime Coca-Cola Brand Ambassadorship. More than 100 students from Coca-Cola UNITED’s partner HBCUs have participated in “Pay It Forward” to date.

The following students were chosen to participate in “Pay It Forward,” representing Coca-Cola UNITED’s three territory regions:

Coca-Cola UNITED Central Region

  • Mya Lucky and Shania Greenwood, Alabama State University
  • Jon Savage, Miles College
  • Roulan Abunahla and Stevon McCullough, Stillman College
  • Sada Turner, Talladega College
  • Kenneth Bradley, Tuskegee University

Coca-Cola UNITED East Region

  • Jasmine Uddin and Jeremiah Mullins, Albany State University
  • Kyra McKinney and Aeleh Keith, Clark Atlanta University
  • Brianna Barner and Jaylyn Thorpe, Fort Valley State University
  • Elijah Turner and Irving Franklin, Morehouse College
  • Destinee Clark and Malaysia Jones, Savannah State University
  • Kourtney Payne and Erin Foster, Spelman College

Coca-Cola UNITED West Region

  • Jeffery Adams and Olasubomi Sulaiman, Alcorn State University
  • Rainn Crowder and Carlos Pollard Jr., Dillard University
  • MaKayla Robinson and De’Vante Martin, Grambling State University
  • Jalexis Edwards and Asia Alexander, Southern University
  • Jordan Campbell and Tiffany Numa, Xavier University of Louisiana

During a three-day interactive development session, the students engaged with several Coca-Cola UNITED departments, including sales, production, marketing, pricing, event planning, packaging, philanthropy and community relations. One of “Pay It Forward’s” main goals is to teach students, to put it simply, how to work. The program exposes students to real-life work scenarios, business practices and protocols, networking and other important skills that will prepare them for the job market.

“We are always excited to engage with our remarkable ‘Pay It Forward’ interns,” said John Sherman, president and CEO of Coca-Cola UNITED. “The purpose of this program is to encourage these young adults, enabling them to further advance their personal and career goals as they prepare for the next phase in life.”

–  Stand UNITED –

About Coca-Bottling Company United, Inc.

Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Inc., founded in 1902 and headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, is the second largest privately held Coca-Cola bottler in North America and the third largest bottler of Coca-Cola products in the U.S.  Now with its fifth generation of family working in the business, Coca-Cola UNITED has approximately 10,000 associates located in more than 60 facilities across six southeastern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee).  Historically significant franchises within our Coca-Cola UNITED family include Chattanooga, the world’s first Coca-Cola bottler; Atlanta, home of the worldwide Coca-Cola System; and Columbus, Georgia, development site of the original Coca-Cola formula.

Coca-Cola UNITED is engaged in the production, marketing and distribution of a diverse portfolio of leading sparkling (Coca-Cola®, Diet Coke®, Coke Zero Sugar®, Dr Pepper®, Sprite®, AHA® and Fanta®) and still (smartwater®, Dasani®, POWERADE®, BODYARMOR®, Fairlife®, Gold Peak®, Monster® and Minute Maid®) non-alcoholic brands under exclusive franchise agreements principally with The Coca-Cola Company® and Keurig Dr Pepper®.

For 119 years, Coca-Cola UNITED has remained true to its foundational core values of Quality, Excellence, Integrity and Respect.  Local relationships, personalized customer service and strong community engagement have been the foundation of our business for more than a century.  Each year, millions of dollars are invested in our local communities, supporting education, community development, sustainability and nonprofit organizations that empower and impact those in need.