Coca-Cola scholar wants to make contribution

Coca-Cola thinks a Mississippi State University student is the real thing when it comes to potential for success.

The company's scholarship foundation has designated Kermit O. Evans of Hollandale one of its 100 regional Coca-Cola Scholars. Evans and other regional scholars receive $4,000 scholarships.

More than 120,000 applicants annually seek the Coca-Cola Foundation awards. According to organization officials, Evans is among 100 receiving the regional scholarships. To qualify, applicants are required to submit an essay explaining their future plans.

"The Coca-Cola scholarship assists students in meeting their educational goals," said Evans, a junior chemical engineering major. "I'd like to get a master's or doctorate in chemical engineering. Eventually, I'd like to own my own chemical plant and develop chemical processes that are environmentally friendly."

The son of Charles and Margaret Evans, he is a former STAR Student at Simmons High School. In 1992, he participated in a summer internship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

At Mississippi State, he is a member of the Increasing Minority Access to Graduate Education (IMAGE) program. Funded by the National Science Foundation through the state's Alliance for Minority Participation program, it encourages minority students to pursue graduate studies in science, mathematics and engineering fields.

Evans also participates in the university's cooperative education program, alternating semesters between academic course work and employment. He has worked with the Georgia Pacific Co. in Crossett, Ark.

The Coca-Cola Foundation is a joint effort of Coca-Cola bottlers nationwide and the Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co.