Media Personality and Comedic Legend Teams Up with Coca-Cola to Open More Possibilities with the 2015 Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Program

ATLANTA, Jan. 22, 2015 – The Coca-Cola Pay It Forward program returns with a stronger focus on African American moms and their impact on the academic success of their teens. Building on the initiative’s accomplishments, the 2015 program will offer up to 20 winners each a $5,000 scholarship and an invitation to the all-new Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Academy.

Aligning with his commitment to teen mentoring, Steve Harvey returns as the program’s celebrity ambassador. He will help launch and co-host the 2015 Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Academy, a three-day mentoring and education preparation experience for the winners and their moms/legal guardians. The Academy will take place in Atlanta, July 24 – 26.

“Having a mentor as a young man played a pivotal part in my success,” said 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.”

The Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Academy is designed to share valuable resources to help empower moms as they prepare their teens for higher education. During the Academy, the winners will be exposed to custom experiences that will help build their confidence to pursue academic success. The Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Academy will engage them on relevant topics like personal branding, preparing for higher education and selecting a career path. Additionally, there will be a track for moms focusing on areas including college financial preparation, self-empowerment and study skill support for their teens.

“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.”

Now through March 31, parents, relatives, friends and mentors may nominate an aspiring teen for the Coca-Cola Pay It Forward program by visiting www.coke.com/payitforward. The program is open to high school students, grades 9-12 (nominees must be 13 by May 1, 2015), and the moms/guardians who love and support their academic and community endeavors. Nominators must be 13 years of age or older. 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. In addition, each winning teen will receive a trip from their 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 prior to the Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Academy.

Ways to Pay It Forward
Once again, Coca-Cola invites African Americans nationwide to join the Company and Harvey in its movement to pay it forward. The Company suggests the following ways to help the next generation achieve their education and career 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. Share ways you are paying it forward and join the conversation on Twitter, using the hashtag #CokePayItForward.

About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands.  Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world's most valuable and recognizable brands, our Company's portfolio features 17 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle.  Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks.  Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.9 billion servings a day.  With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate.  Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates.  For more information, visit Coca-Cola Journey at www.coca-colacompany.com, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo, visit our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at www.coca-colablog.com or find us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/the-coca-cola-company.