Laguna Blanca School senior Bryson Alef has been granted a Regional Scholar Award by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation for demonstrating academic and civic excellence in his school and community.

Bryson Alef

Bryson Alef

He will receive a $10,000 scholarship. Out of 69,000 applicants, Bryson was selected as one of 200 Regional Scholars.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation was created in 1986 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Coca-Cola and to establish a legacy for the education of tomorrow’s leaders through college scholarships.

Each year, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation awards $3 million in achievement-based four-year college scholarships to 250 outstanding high school seniors from communities across the nation. The foundation annually awards 200 regional scholarships of $10,000 each and 50 national scholarships of $20,000 each.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation evaluates applicants on the basis of demonstrated leadership in academics, school, community and civic activities, as well as personal character and the motivation to serve and succeed.

In November, out of 69,000 applications, Alef was selected as one of 2,200 semifinalists in the 22nd class of the Coca-Cola Scholars Program. As semifinalists, students submitted additional information that was reviewed in January by a committee made up of 30 educators from high schools and universities throughout the United States. Students are selected to advance to the next phase based on the level of academic excellence, leadership and achievement demonstrated in school and community activities.

“The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation received more than 69,000 applications this year, and the semifinalists are truly some of the brightest students in the country,” said Mark Davis, president of the foundation. “We’re delighted to have such a bright and talented pool of students to consider for our 22nd class.”

In February, Alef advanced to be among the 253 finalists who traveled to Atlanta from March 25-28 to attend the Coca-Cola Scholars Weekend.

“It was such an honor to be counted among the impressive 253 finalists in attendance,” Alef said. “The whole weekend blew me away, and it will without a doubt be an experience that I remember dearly for the rest of my life.”

During this visit, he attended a final interview process that determined whether he would be designated a national or regional scholar. In April, Bryson was named a Coca-Cola regional scholar.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, a joint effort of Coca-Cola Bottlers across America and The Coca-Cola Company, is one of the largest corporate-sponsored, achievement-based scholarship programs of its kind in the United States. With the 2010 class, more than 4,500 young scholars nationwide will have benefited from more than $41 million that the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has provided.

Coca-Cola Scholars share a special “something else,” giving back in unselfish ways, embodying service over self and already making a difference in society. By supporting these students, Coca-Cola, too, is giving back to the communities that have supported it for more than 100 years.

Bryson plans to attend Amherst College in the fall with his scholarship.

— Tara Broucqsault is the director of communications for Laguna Blanca School.