NA boasts three Coca-Cola Scholarship recipients

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North Allegheny High School has three Coca-Cola scholarship recipients in 2022, thanks to seniors Victoria Ren, Hannah Shin, and Alina Zaidi.

Each student will receive a $ 20,000 scholarship.

The 34th class of Coca-Cola Scholars includes 150 high school students across the nation, selected from an initial pool of 68,000-plus applications nationwide, according to the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation.

Less than one-fourth of 1 percent of applicants are selected for the award. The scholarships are meant to “exemplify superior leadership, service, and academics, they are changing agents, positively affecting others in their communities,” according to the Coca-Cola scholarship website.

Ren, who works as a cook line at a local Stack’d restaurant, is set to attend Stanford University

Her resume, like that of the other NA recipients, lists a myriad of accomplishments.

At 13, she co-founded STEM & Buds, a for-youth, by-youth nonprofit, which builds peer-mentorship, project creation, and civic science-driven education redefining STEM education.

In the classroom, she helped lead speech and debate and student council initiatives. Outside the classroom, she’s helped organize racial justice and accessibility efforts.

“I’m incredibly grateful to be a Coke Scholar. To me, this is a thank you to all who have advocated for, listened to, and worked with me. Many people, moments, and environments have fundamentally changed my life, so through this scholarship, I hope to learn more about community, accessibility, and belonging in college and pass what I’ve been able to experience forward. Right now, I think this looks like working for nonprofits, but I’d also like to teach kids and interview others at some point in my life, ”Ren said.

Fellow recipient Shin is excited about exploring the intersection of law / policy, philosophy, and human rights in college and beyond. Shin is passionate about serving the elderly community and people with disabilities. She has enjoys meeting and serving disability home residents, elderly immigrants, veterans, and nursing home residents. She also harbors a deep appreciation for local to international avenues of leadership and impact, and has led Pennsylvania DECA as the state president. She has represented 350,000-plus youth across more than 100 countries as one of eight Interact members worldwide on the inaugural Rotary International Interact Advisory Council. She served as the school board student representative of her intermediate and senior high schools and worked as a youth board co-chair for the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.

She plans to attend Harvard in the fall and hopes to study and contribute to the mobilization of public interest law and social entrepreneurship toward building age-friendly, disability-friendly communities.

“This invitation to become a part of the Coca-Cola Scholars community warms my heart and blows my mind. Truly, I am filled to the brim with gratitude for everyone who has shaped me. Regarding the next chapter of my life, I plan to use this scholarship to cover a portion of my room and board costs, which are not covered by my full-tuition scholarship, as I explore public interest law, philosophy, and human rights at Harvard , ”Shin

“I’m confident that North Allegheny has shaped me into the person I have become and the person I will become,” Shin said.

Zaidi, of Wexford, said her most important activities include work as state president for Penn HOSA – a foundation for future health professionals; working with the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh; and helping to teach about climate change to North Allegheny elementary students. She is the founder of her nonprofit Sustainability In Our Schools. And she co-founded and instructed “Money Not Magic,” a youth-focused project based on spreading financial literacy. Zaidi co-authored “Growing Your Money Tree: An Introduction to Personal Finance,” available on Amazon.

She has also been a class council president and had a Bank of America Student Leader Internship at the Sarah Heinz House in Pittsburgh.

“Earning the Coke Scholarship has been a lifelong dream of mine. The $ 20,000 is quite literally life-changing in helping me afford attending a college of my choice to study international affairs and public health. But more than that, it’s the community that appeals to me so much. Every Coke Scholar is so incredibly passionate about what they do that is simply inspiring, ”Zaidi said.

Natalie Beneviat is a Trib Total Media contributing writer.

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