Coca-Cola UNITED Accepting Applications for 2022 Pay It Forward Internship


Contact: Cassandra Mickens, Coca-Cola UNITED


For Immediate Release

Coca-Cola UNITED Accepting Applications for 2022 Pay It Forward Internship

32 students representing 16 HBCUs to earn increased $2K stipend

Birmingham, Ala. (Jan. 31, 2022) – Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Inc. (UNITED) is seeking applicants for the 2022 class of its Pay It Forward internship program, a week-long experience in which African American college students celebrate their achievements, further their success and earn a $2,000 stipend.

Students ages 18 and older who attend one of the 16 historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) in Coca-Cola UNITED’s six-state footprint are encouraged to submit applications beginning Jan. 31, 2022, through April 3, 2022. Students must be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate at a participating HBCU to apply. Coca-Cola UNITED’s 16 partner HBCUs are:

  • Alabama State University
  • Albany State University
  • Alcorn State University
  • Clark Atlanta University
  • Dillard University
  • Fort Valley State University
  • Grambling State University
  • Miles College
  • Morehouse College
  • Savannah State University
  • Southern University
  • Spelman College
  • Stillman College
  • Talladega College
  • Tuskegee University
  • Xavier University of Louisiana

In 2015, Coca-Cola UNITED teams in Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama established Pay It Forward to provide African American youth opportunities to succeed. Since that time, more than 100 students have participated in the program, including Tiana Thomas, a Southern University alumna and 2020 Pay It Forward graduate who was recently hired as a business development trainee for Coca-Cola UNITED.

Pay It Forward offers students first-hand experience in a range of roles at Coca-Cola UNITED, including sales, packaging, production, marketing, pricing, event planning, philanthropy and community relations. Students will engage with various departments to learn more about the organization and how to conduct business most effectively during a fun and informative development session to be held late summer 2022.

Students are reviewed and selected based on their completed applications. An increased $2,000 stipend will be awarded to each of the students at the end of the program, as well as a lifetime of Coca-Cola Brand Ambassadorship.

One of the main goals of  Pay It Forward is to teach the students, to put it simply, how to go to work. The program immerses them in the facets of the business, and teaches them how to network with others and other important skills that will prepare them for the job market.

“We are focused on mentoring and supporting the best students in the southeast through our company’s Pay It Forward program. Interns will have the outstanding opportunity to gain quantifiable business skills,” said John Sherman, Coca-Cola UNITED president and CEO. .“Our team is excited about interacting and developing the talents of these young adults by inspiring their ambitions as they begin their bright careers, hopefully at Coca-Cola.”

For more information and application details on the annual Pay It Forward student opportunity, click here.

–  Stand UNITED –

About Coca-Cola 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 120 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. For more information, visit