A 17-year-old Twin Rivers Unified senior is one of 150 students nationwide to be awarded a prestigious $20,000 Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation scholarship. Maria Del Carmen Ayon attends Grant Union High School. She’s passionate about public policy, wants to be an immigration lawyer, and has been admitted to UC Berkeley. Ayon is waiting to hear from Stanford University.
“I’m feeling very blessed for the opportunities coming my way,” says Ayon, senior class president and a Criminal Justice Academy student at Grant. “I’ve put in a lot of hard work and now it’s paying off. I’ve had to overcome a lot of struggles, but you never give up. I’m up at 5:30 a.m. to catch public transportation to get to Grant because I’m currently living in the south Sacramento area. I have a part-time job and when I’m finished there I go to a nearby coffee shop to study while I wait for my brother to pick me up at about 8 p.m., depending on his schedule. I’m usually up until midnight doing homework … some days are harder than others, but you have to know what you’re aiming for, why you have that goal and your motivation behind it.”
The Coca-Cola scholarship is achievement-based and is awarded to students who show a capacity to lead and serve. Ayon was one of nearly 1,900 semifinalists. More than 95,000 students submitted applications. She’s scheduled to join other Coca-Cola scholarship recipients April 4-7 in Atlanta, Georgia, for Scholars Weekend.
Click HERE for more information about the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and the 2019 scholars.