DENVER – The Coca-Cola Company believes that investing in students who are leaders, both academically and in service to others, results in positive, lasting change and sustainable communities. That's why the Coca-Cola Foundation has provided more than $100 million in college scholarships over the past 29 years to students of all backgrounds.

This commitment to service was on full display at the 3rd annual 2017 Denver Service Summit, held Aug. 25-27.  The summit, sponsored by local bottler Swire Coca-Cola, brought together the 2017 Coca-Cola Scholars class, 60 Coke Scholars alumni from around the country and the staff Swire to hear from inspirational leaders on how public policy, social enterprise and effective philanthropy can drive lasting change in local communities.

“We are so proud to host the third-annual Coke Scholars Service Summit in Denver,” said Jack Pelo, CEO of Swire Coca-Cola. “As a long-time board member of The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, I have seen first hand the impact our scholars have had across the country. That is why we jumped at the opportunity to host them in Denver.”

While in Denver, the scholars worked with City Year Denver, the Wilfley Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver, and the Denver Parks and Recreation Department, to make over the Wilfley Boys & Girls Club by cleaning the building and buses, painting a game room, rehabbing the football field, and building new cubbies and a community garden for the children. Participants also worked with the parks department to clean up the Aztlan Park next door.

Supporting local communities is part of Coca-Cola’s, and Swire’s, DNA. The system is focused on driving economic empowerment and business opportunity; protecting the natural resources we all use; empowering the next generation of American leaders through scholarship and education; and supporting disaster relief efforts across the country in times of need.

Jane Hale Hopkins, executive VP, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, said, “To have all of these Scholars here in the Denver metro area is a great opportunity to bring scholars and Swire Coca-Cola back together in a way that carries that community connection forth.”

The participants left Denver after three days inspired and excited to lead the change and elevate the awareness of philanthropy, social responsibility and public policy in their local communities.