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Minority boost – $1.2M for internships, scholarships

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The United Negro College Fund and Coca-Cola announced a $1.2 million partnership Tuesday to provide black or Latino students paid summer internships and scholarships, the Los Angeles Times reported June 7.

Fourteen college students have already been selected for the first year of the program. The program will add 14 more in 2001, and another 14 in 2002.

Each student will work on business, sales or marketing projects under the guidance of a mentor at a Coke facility. In exchange for eight or 10 weeks of work, each student will be paid $5,000 and receive a $5,000 college scholarship.

“In this kind of program you take a kid out of the barrio or the ghetto and put them in the laboratory, or in this case, the Coca-Cola plant, and they get inspired,” College Fund president William Gray III told the Times. “This is the story of how you get minorities into new fields.”

This kind of partnership helps corporations as well, Gray said, because it gives them a diverse internship pool and thereby reduces their recruiting needs.

For full text, go to the Los Angeles Times.

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