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Gila Ridge student named Coca-Cola scholar semifinalist

Gila Ridge High School student Matthew Boelts was named aMatthew Boelts semifinalist for the Class of 2024 Coca-Cola Scholars Program. Only 1,514 high school seniors across the nation were selected out of over 103,800 applicants. 

Boelts was selected based on his academic excellence, leadership, and community service activities. As a semi-finalist, he is in the running for 150 college scholarships worth $20,000. 

“Receiving the Coca-Cola scholarship would mean a lot to me since I am an admirer of large businesses that have made it in the world and I hope to someday reach their level,” Boelts said. “I would like to attend the agricultural business school at the University of Arizona. Receiving the Coca-Cola scholarship would be a huge honor to me as I am a young student looking to go to college and any kind of monetary help would help me in this journey."

Boelts has now moved onto phase two which includes essays, a recommendation, and a transcript. An independent selection committee will review the applications and recommend 250 regional finalists in early January to take part in online interviews. One-hundred fifty scholars will be named in late February to receive a $20,000 college scholarship. They will also be invited to attend Coca-Cola Scholars Weekend in Atlanta, April 25-28, 2024, where they will be the guests of honor at the 36th annual Coca-Cola Scholars Banquet and participate in the Coca-Cola Scholars Leadership Development Institute facilitated by program alumni.

“We believe that identifying these young leaders throughout the country and encouraging their

passion for serving others not only empowers the students, but also lifts up those around them,”

President of the Foundation Jane Hale Hopkins said. “The Coca-Cola system is dedicated to giving back to the communities they serve, and the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation is proud to be a part of that commitment.”

Students selected as Coca-Cola Scholars not only receive college scholarships, but they are welcomed into a community of Coca-Cola scholar alumni with opportunities to network, collaborate, and create friendships. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has provided more than $81 million in scholarships to over 6,750 program alumni. Learn more at

Lesley Avila