Nominate a teen

Nominate yourself or a teen between the ages of 13-18 for the chance to
win a $5,000 scholarship,
plus a mentorship experience at the Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Academy in Atlanta.

Share this opportunity with friends & family

About Coca-Cola Pay It Forward

The Coca-Cola's Pay It Forward program embodies the spirit of giving back, helping our teens to reach greater heights through education.

Empowering moms and communities to help high school teens succeed, we encourage you to nominate a deserving teen for the 2016 Coca-Cola Pay It Forward program.

Winning teens will be awarded a $5,000 scholarship, and 3 days of mentorship, leadership and networking at the Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Academy.

Giving teens the opportunity to excel is just one more way that you can support the next generation and build tomorrow's leaders today.

Coke Mini Moments / Tips & Tools

Coke Mini Moments is a series of conversations and tips designed to help Moms support their teens’ academic journey. Share these topics with your teen over a Coke Mini Can. You’ll help open possibilities during your time together. And share your personal education tips with other Moms using #cokepayitforward.

5 Reasons To Go To School Every Day

  • School. It's that glorious mix of social and educational encounters that happens every week day for thirteen long years. Sure there are holiday breaks and summer breaks, and even those weird days when your teachers have to show up but you don't. But for the most part, your entire childhood is spent in school. If you have to be there - and federal laws say you do - you might as well have a great time! Here are our top five reasons to go to school every single school day.
  • 5. There is this thing called the perfect attendance award
    For the ultra competitive students, scoring the perfect attendance award is a great honor. Actually, it's a great honor even if you're not competitive. And it's pretty awesome. Being at school every day means fighting through the days when you have the blahs, the days when you have tests but didn't study, and sometimes even the days when you feel under the weather (although not at all contagious with cooties!). Being in class everyday says a lot about your commitment to education and your belief that showing up is important. Way to go!
  • 4. What about your friends
    School wouldn't be the same without friends. Not only are they there to walk the halls with you between classes or keep you up-to-date on the latest and greatest in school crushes, friends help you cope with life. Good friends are your most loyal fan club members, there to support you when you try out for cheerleading or take the field in your first game. They listen to you go on and on about the joys of chemical reactions or help you make campaign signs for your race for student body president. And when you're home sick with the flu, your friends take meticulous notes for you so you don't fall behind in math class. Friends for the win!
  • 3. We've got spirit yes we do
    There is nothing like a school bursting at the seams with school spirit. Not only do you think your school is the best place in the entire universe, you want others to agree with you. Come on, why wouldn't they? From pep rallies to spirit days to school events, your school knows how to turn up. Being a part of that excitement and pride is more than enough of a reason to show up every day for school.
  • Download PDF here to get the best info on this subject
  • 2. You're getting prepared for life
    It might not seem like school is preparing you for life but it totally is. No, you might not need to know the exact calculations of pi (3.14) or the three types of rocks (sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous), or even that there are eight parts of speech (verb, noun, pronoun, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection) but you're learning how to show up, work hard, and apply what you've learned . These are definitely skills that will serve you in college and the workforce. There is an expectation that you show up for work every single day and that you are prepared. Your thirteen years of school are helping you master these skills like a true boss!
  • 1. It's so much fun
    Go ahead and admit it, school can be fun. Learning new things is fun. Exploring new ideas is fun. Succeeding in your classes is fun. Excelling in your extracurricular activities is fun. Even eating school lunch with your friends is fun. We know not all schools are created equal and for some of you, the buildings and equipment are less than awesome. But your quest for knowledge goes beyond what happens in the classroom. You're learning from your teachers, your classmates, and the entire school staff. When it's all said and done, you'll graduate from high school with a lot of great memories of all the fun times you had in school.
  • Powered by Get Schooled

    Let's Talk

    Encouraging your teen to open up about their goals and how you can help achieve them.

  • Academic success often starts at home with a strong relationship between parent and teen. Studies have shown a strong correlation between parental involvement and high academic performance and graduation rates among teens. During this critical time of development, however, many parents have experienced communication becoming a challenge with their teen as the gap between their worlds widens and parental dependence lessens. Between the ongoing competition from mobile devices, video games, online content and more, finding out how your teen is doing and how they are progressing towards their personal and academic goals can be a bit tricky. To help break the ice, below are a few tips to help connect with your teen:
  • 1. First, start with "spotting your in."
    Try to determine the best time to connect casually with your teen. Is it best to attempt to bond before school, after school, during dinner, on the weekends? Make sure it's a time when your teen's guards are down and it doesn't feel forced.
  • 2. Create a comfortable environment.
    Don't attempt to chat when you are preoccupied with other high priority tasks around the house. Play some music and dance to your favorite tune to release any tension in the house. Set the table with a couple of Coke Mini Cans for quick refreshment while you decompress. If you're relaxed, then you give permission for your teen to be relaxed too.
  • 3. No judgment zone.
    When it's time to connect with your teen, make sure you are prepared to listen to them without judgment. How is their week going? Has anything new sparked their interest lately? Have they set any new personal or academic goals?
  • Download PDF here to get the best info on this subject
  • 4. Tell them stories of what you wanted to be when you were younger.
    Share what you did to achieve your goal. Opening up can open up your teen’s imagination to what is really out there for them.
  • 5. Let them know you're here to help.
    Having a future goal is great, but figuring out the right road to take to get there can be daunting. Offer your help. Let them know you're in this journey together.


  • Remember, it's up to you to open up that dialogue with your teen that will help build trust and allow you to guide them on their path to success. To start them on that path, don't forget to nominate them for a chance to win a mentorship experience at the Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Academy, plus a $5,000 scholarship. And join the conversation with other Moms using #cokepayitforward.
  • Mini Ways to Save

    Small steps to save up for a BIG education.

  • The next phase for education is expensive and it’s important for moms and teens to be prepared. Below are some tips to understanding all the ways to finance your teen’s education through scholarships, grants and employment.
  • 1. Help your teen learn how to save money. Set up a savings account and show him or her that putting away a little at a time can really start to add up. Have a financial discussion over a couple of Mini Coke cans, and together make a financial plan for the future. Just like their savings, your mini conversations will make a big impact later on down the road.
  • 2. Help your teen research other financial options. Encourage him or her to look for scholarships, with the reminder that even small monetary grants can make a big difference when paying for college.
  • 3. Discuss employment and help your teen look for part-time jobs. Many campuses offer flexible employment for students that will not only help them financially, but also help with time management and useful skills and experience for after graduation. Is your teen still a few years away from going to college? Help him or her look into an after school, weekend, or summer job now.
  • Download PDF here to get the best info on this subject
  • 4. Discuss the reality of student loans. Make sure that you and your teen know the ins and outs of student lending and repayment plans. To a teen, a loan may seem like free money, so help him or her understand what the financial reality will be once he or she graduates and is prepared for repayment.
  • 5. Help your teen fill out the FAFSA form. It is important to complete the form every year so that your teen does not miss out on any grants or loan eligibility.


  • Take a little time now to discuss finances with your teen, and make the road to an education that much easier. Small steps can add up and have a big impact. For a chance at additional monetary help, don’t forget to nominate him or her for a chance to win a mentorship experience at the Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Academy, plus a $5,000 scholarship. And join the conversation with other moms using #cokepayitforward.
  • What You Were Made For

    Learning and acknowledging your teens’ gifts.

  • Every teen has a gift. That special something that sets them apart while at the same time enables them with a strong sense of purpose and passion in regard to their future. Mom can play an essential role in helping her teen hone in on his or her true passion, as well as nurturing the talent that her teen possesses. Many teens may not be as vocal about what they believe their talents are, so Mom should take a moment to discuss this important topic over a couple of Mini Coke Cans. The true measure of a teen’s talent can’t always be captured on a paper test – that’s why Mom has to keep her eyes and ears open to help her teen find that talent to not only excel at, but also love and enjoy. Because after all, work isn’t work if you’re doing what you love.
  • 1. In order to nurture talent, you first have to spot the talent. You know your teen better than anyone. Simply paying a little extra attention or having a conversation with his or her will help you identify talents. Try sharing your interests together over a Mini Coke can.
  • 2. A good way to nurture the talent your child possesses is to devise activities that give your teen a chance to utilize his or her talent. This can instill confidence and your teen realize he or she has a special gift.
  • 3. Always take a moment to compliment your teen on his or her talent: Remember, a little encouragement can go a long way.
  • Download PDF here to get the best info on this subject
  • 4. Taking his or her talent to the next level begins with your teen being pointed in the right direction. Take little measures to help find the programs or courses that are designed to highlight and elevate his or her gift.
  • 5. Find a mentor in your family or community who can help your teen develop his or her talent and serve as a role model.


  • Finding out what your teen was made for is what moms are made for. Look for their gift. Find it. And do everything in your power to make sure they utilize it to the best of their abilities. To help them do that, don’t forget to nominate them for a chance to win a mentorship experience at the Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Academy, plus a $5,000 scholarship. And join the conversation with other moms using #cokepayitforward.
  • Mini Ways To Straight A's

  • One of the hardest things for all students to do in school is study. Especially in the teenage years, students have all sorts of things competing for their attention. Staying focused and building the skills they need for college is essential, but doesn’t have to be hard. Take a moment with your teen, open a couple of Mini Coke cans, and have a short discussion about studying and grades that could set him or her off on the path to a great education.
  • 1. Keep the pressure off. Striving for good grades is hard enough without added stress. Let your teen know the importance of studying, but make sure he or she knows you have his or her best interests in mind. Staying focused is more important than staying stressed. Students learn and grow at their own pace, so be sure to measure their progress against themselves.
  • 2. Consider study groups. Encourage your teen to get together with fellow students to tackle the work together. Try hosting study sessions for the group, complete with Mini Cokes and snacks to help them prep for a big test or complete a team project.
  • 3. Look into tutoring to help students achieve more in the subjects that are more difficult. No one is good at everything, so a tutor may help your teen focus and achieve a well-rounded education.
  • Download PDF here to get the best info on this subject
  • 4. Time management is key, not only in the teen years, but especially when college begins. Help foster this skill in your student by drawing up study plans and schedules. Let him or her know that having a plan and sticking to it helps get the work done and keeps stress levels low. Be flexible and help your teen find what works best for his or her lifestyle.
  • 5. Give your teen a reward from time to time to acknowledge the effort and dedication he or she puts in. A Mini Coke can is the perfect little treat to celebrate an uninterrupted study session or good marks on an assignment.


  • Take these mini ways to straight A’s to heart, because each mini step you take can lead to big opportunities. Nominate your teen for the 2015 Coca-Cola Pay it Forward Academy. Or join the conversation online using #cokepayitforward.
  • College Is a Chance to Write Your Own Adventure Story

  • Wow, you've done it! You've entered the final stretch of high school and are en route to your next major milestone, college. Now that you're here, you have questions, so many questions! You might even have some fear of leaving your family and friends behind. You’re not alone. But college is an amazing adventure you definitely want to take!
  • Like Bilbo Baggins (you have read The Hobbit, right?), you are sure to have life-changing experiences worthy of expert storytelling. It might be the time you accidently sat through an advanced chemistry class instead of the freshman biology class you were supposed to attend. Or maybe you will share about the time you transformed a package of Ramen into a meal fit for kings! Let’s not forget the time you stumbled, sleep-deprived after an all-night study session in the library, into the wrong dorm room. That was awkward. Okay, maybe you’ll keep that one under wraps.
  • College is an opportunity to live in a different city where you will be exposed to experiences you’ve never had before. Your roommates will become your life-long friends, your professors will grow to be your mentors; you’ll form bonds with classmates from across the country and the world, all-nighters will provide hours of mindless, free entertainment, and you will grow in confidence as you explore your interests and passions in the classroom and through student activities.
  • College is the beginning of a long string of firsts;your first acceptance letter, your first college roommate, your first internship, and later down the line your first major step into your dream career. The jitters you feel now are normal and you will find that everyone else has the same fears, doubts, and questions. If you can push through those fears, you will wake up one day and wonder why you were afraid of leaving home in the first place.
  • Download PDF here to get the best info on this subject
  • Yep, college is awesome and you’re going to totally own it! Doesn’t everything seem brighter now? Get ready to write your own adventure!

    Powered by Get Schooled
  • Do Colleges Have a Type?

  • If you think colleges don’t have a type, think again! When it comes to college admissions, there is definitely a type of student most colleges want. Admissions counselors cover the basics like students with the right grade point average, test scores, and mix of college preparatory classes. But, if you really want to stand out on your application, you have to focus on things like leadership and social responsibility.
  • What makes you unique and separates you from the millions of other seniors applying for college? That is the question admissions officers want you to answer on your application. Here are a few ways you can step it up on your college apps and increase your chances of getting into your dream school.
  • Show Leadership: Being a leader doesn’t just mean holding an office in a club or organization. There are many ways to lead – in class, in small study groups, in sports, and even in your community. Highlight examples of you taking the lead on a project for school, organizing a benefit concert, or even getting promoted to shift manager at your after school job. Real leadership goes beyond a title, so show them how you lead.
  • Be Willing To Take Risks: There is nothing wrong with being a cautious person. It’s usually better to be safe than sorry. But sometimes taking risks can make a huge difference in your success or failure. Maybe taking advance math or science classes seems like a recipe for ruin, but it could be an opportunity for you to stretch yourself mentally and build your confidence. Working hard for a solid C+ in Calculus instead of the easy A in Geometry shows you aren’t afraid to choose the hard
  • path to achieve your goals. Not everyone is willing to risk a 4.0 G.P.A. for the sake of enrolling in harder classes. Trust us, schools will notice.
  • Download PDF here to get the best info on this subject
  • Have A Commitment To Service: If you are padding your college application with hours of community service just to win favor with the admissions counselors, you’re wasting your time. What really matters is your commitment to doing service in an area that matters to you. Whether it’s cleaning up the environment, promoting the importance of learning to code, or helping to care for the sick, spend your time volunteering with people and organizations that speak to your core values. When it comes from the heart, the admissions counselors can feel it. And that level of commitment and passion goes a long way.
  • Showcase Your Special Talents And Abilities: Have you been publishing short stories since grade school? Did you sing in a choir that traveled internationally? Will your sports record stand at your school for years to come? These are the kind of things you need to include in your college application. Let the school know that accepting you means getting someone who is one of a kind.
  • This list doesn’t include all the ways you can stand out on your college applications but it’s a great start to help you show your dream school you are most definitely the right type!
    Powered by Get Schooled
  • Being What the World Needs

    Encouraging your teen to pursue an interest in emerging and important fields of study.

  • The global economy continues to evolve at a fast pace, with each college-bound generation ready to step up and become what the world needs to progress into the future. Teens today need to be encouraged to pursue university programs that focus on STEM/STEAM curriculums (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics), which allow minority students (African American, Hispanic, Women) to explore academic and career options where they are traditionally underrepresented. Help your teen take a mini step in the right direction and open up these new opportunities.
  • 1. Research STEM careers with your teen. It may be important to some teens to know what benefits can come out of STEM education. Do they hate math class in school but love computers? Let them know that the fundamental skills they learn now can turn into a career they love. Today’s math class could be tomorrow’s software engineering.
  • 2. Try getting your teen involved in STEM extracurricular activities and programs. Start small by seeing what his or her school has to offer outside the classroom, then consider moving on to community events and activities.
  • 3. Look for a STEM role model to help inspire and encourage your teen. Whether it be his or her own teachers, or a widely-known scientist or STEM professional, help your teen see what a difference he or she could make by following a path in STEM.
  • Download PDF here to get the best info on this subject
  • 4. Participate with your teen. If possible, try to learn new and emerging technologies alongside your teen. Go with him or her to museums or coding classes. He or she will see that you truly believe in the importance of STEM, and you may learn something along the way as well. All these little actions can turn into a big and bright future.
  • 5. Encourage your teen to master the fundamentals of STEM, and let him or her know that they can be used to earn success no matter what focus he or she pursues. Curiosity, critical thinking, problem solving, independence, confidence, and creativity are all qualities that are crucial not only in STEM, but also in any area your teen chooses to focus on.
  • Remember, encouragement is key. Allow your teen to explore and choose the field he or she feels is right. Send the message that your teen’s happiness and success is what matters to you, and he or she will be bolstered by your support. To help your teen on his or her educational path, don’t forget to nominate him or her for a chance to win a mentorship experience at the Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Academy, plus a $5,000 scholarship. And join the conversation with other Moms using #cokepayitforward.
  • A SCHOOL TO CALL HOME

    Making the perfect match between student and school.

  • Not all schools are the same, and every college won’t be a perfect fit for your teen. Each student is unique and must find the college that fits his or her needs, both in academics and lifestyle. “Undermatching” (attending a college or university that does not match a teen’s talents, interests, learning styles or social capacity) is one of the main causes of students not completing a college education. A short conversation over a Mini Coke could help your teen make this huge decision.
  • 1. Consider sitting down with your teen over a Mini Coke in order to gauge what he or she is looking for in a school. What is important to him or her? Academic programs, sports, location, living arrangements, scholarships, outreach and internship opportunities are all things to consider when choosing a school. Make sure your teen knows that a school is so much more than just his or her major.
  • 2. Help your teen research different schools. Start small with the college websites, and then move on to making connections with counselors and current students. Many high schools also offer guidance on the path to higher education. Once your teen is interested in a few schools, if possible, schedule a campus visit or tour to really get a sense of that institution.
  • 3. Consider making a checklist with your teen that documents what is important to him or her in a school. Use that as a reference when doing your research.
  • Download PDF here to get the best info on this subject
  • 4. Discuss choosing a major or area of study. Some schools specialize in very specific areas, making them ideal for some students and abhorrent to others. It is difficult for many students to decide a major right away, so help your teen be aware of the choice to avoid having to change programs.
  • 5. Once your teen is interested in certain schools, help him or her research the application process and requirements. If done early on in his or her schooling, your teen will have plenty of time to prepare. However, it is never too late to research and help your teen be the student that these schools are seeking.
  • Picking a school may be the first big important decision your teen makes. Take some small steps today to ensure that he or she finds the right one. No matter which school your teen chooses, don’t forget to nominate him or her for a chance to win a mentorship experience at the Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Academy, plus a $5,000 scholarship. And join the conversation with other Moms using #cokepayitforward.
  • Page 1 of 2

    5 Reasons

    Let's Talk

    Mini Ways to Save

    What You
    Were Made For

    Mini Ways to
    Straight A's

    Own Adventure Story

    Do Colleges
    Have a Type

    Being What
    the World Needs

    A School to
    Call Home

    Meet the 2015 Pay It Forward Contest Winners

    Ayanna Neal Marymount High School
    Justus Martin Stillman College
    Nicolas Badilla BHA Academy/ Gwinnett Tech (Home Schooled) Kenetria Banks Pinson Valley High School Jamiah Bennett Laurelton Hall High School Cameron Bradley Florida State University Alexis Cay Travis Early College High School Jarod Glover Tufts University Kyle Grant Union High School Logan Haskill Rock Island High School Alexis Jenkins Easton Area High School Zenobia Johnson University of New Haven
    Danielle Lewis University of Alabama Rahsaan Middleton Occidental College Janib Moralles Florida Atlantic University Evan Mouton North Carolina A & T Tinisha Nisbitt Wharton High School Phylicia Nixon Nasemond River High School Vivian Obia University of Michigan Dayomine Owens Alabama A & M LonDarrius Smith Southwest DeKalb High School Jasmine Wortham Hillsboro High School
    Learn More
    About
    Coke Mini Moments / Tips & Tools
    2015 Winners
    X
    X
    X
    X

    About Coca-Cola Pay It Forward

    The Coca-Cola's Pay It Forward program embodies the spirit of giving back, helping our teens to reach greater heights through education.

    Empowering moms and communities to help high school teens succeed, we encourage you to nominate a deserving teen for the 2016 Coca-Cola Pay It Forward program.

    Winning teens will be awarded a $5,000 scholarship, and 3 days of mentorship, leadership and networking at the Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Academy.

    Giving teens the opportunity to excel is just one more way that you can support the next generation and build tomorrow's leaders today.

    X

    Coke Mini Moments / Tips & Tools

    Coke Mini Moments is a series of conversations and tips designed to help Moms support their teens’ academic journey. Share these topics with your teen over a Coke Mini Can. You’ll help open possibilities during your time together. And share your personal education tips with other Moms using #cokepayitforward.











    Message From Steve Harvey










    X
    X

    Meet the 2015 Pay It Forward Contest Winners

    Ayanna Neal Marymount High School
    Justus Martin Stillman College
    Nicolas Badilla BHA Academy/ Gwinnett Tech (Home Schooled) Kenetria Banks Pinson Valley High School Jamiah Bennett Laurelton Hall High School Cameron Bradley Florida State University Alexis Cay Travis Early College High School Jarod Glover Tufts University Kyle Grant Union High School Logan Haskill Rock Island High School Alexis Jenkins Easton Area High School Zenobia Johnson University of New Haven
    Danielle Lewis University of Alabama Rahsaan Middleton Occidental College Janib Moralles Florida Atlantic University Evan Mouton North Carolina A & T Tinisha Nisbitt Wharton High School Phylicia Nixon Nasemond River High School Vivian Obia University of Michigan Dayomine Owens Alabama A & M LonDarrius Smith Southwest DeKalb High School Jasmine Wortham Hillsboro High School