Coke Florida Empowers Communities Through Access to Educational and Technology Resources During Black History Month
Since its inception in 2015, Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, LLC (Coke Florida) has had a stated commitment to education through its Black History Month programming. The company announces that its 2024 initiatives will again directly impact Floridians, and its donations will surpass $800,000.
This month, Coke Florida, a family-owned Coca-Cola bottler, will donate 300 laptops across the state to ensure that students and adults served by community-based programs are equipped with reliable technology to support educational activities, conduct training workshops, and perform employment-related activities. The company will also support art exhibitions, reward participants of essay contests, and other community-based programs honoring Black history across the state.
“Our focus during Black History Month continues to be on how we can truly empower young people in Florida’s underserved communities to reach their full potential regardless of their background or where they come from,” said Percy L. Wells, II, Group Vice President of Government Relations, Public Affairs and Communications at Coke Florida. “We are committed to providing much-needed access to educational opportunities and technological resources in an effort to ease the digital divide and prepare youth to compete in an ever-changing digital environment.”
Community partners and organizations receiving Coke Florida technology donations provide outstanding academic and social support services for deserving youth to succeed despite socio-economic challenges. Among them are local public schools, Police Athletic Leagues, 100 Black Men, Visible Men Academy, Urban Leagues, YMCAs, AMI Kids, Junior Achievement, and Boys & Girls Clubs.
Coke Florida will also establish the first-ever computer lab at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida (BGCNF) Windy Hill Boys & Girls Club in Jacksonville. Using the new devices, the Coke Florida Technology Team will introduce club students to Minecraft coding, the latest training in a series that includes Intelligent Automation (AI) and website development. They will explore the core computer science (CS) concepts of coding and programming.
Additionally, United Against Poverty (UP) St. Lucie County Center is another organization that will benefit from Coke Florida’s technology donations this year. The nonprofit organization works to lift residents out of poverty through enrichment programs and services. Laptops donated by Coke Florida will be used in the campus computer lab for its Success Training Employment Program (STEP), which assists adult participants with job training, career planning and connections, and success coaching. UP’s mission aligns with two of Coke Florida’s community engagement focus areas: education and economic empowerment.
At the conclusion of Black History Month 2024, Coke Florida, through its laptop donation campaign, will have established and upgraded 11 community computer labs across the state. This expansion of technology access to Floridians of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds will work to level the playing field for many underserved people.
Lastly, Coke Florida enters its 3rd year as Presenting Sponsor for the Jim Thorpe Invitational (JTI), February 16th – 18th. This event, hosted by legendary PGA golfer Jim Thorpe in partnership with United Golfers Association (UGA), invites over 100 elite minority junior golfers, collegiate athletes, and professional tour players to the signature 36-hole competition. Held at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, the event includes a panel discussion focused on educational and career opportunities in the sport of golf. UGA has been leading the way in promoting diversity in golf in the United States since 1925.
To learn more about Coke Florida’s Black History Month 2024 initiatives, visit cokeflorida.com/blackhistorymonth.
About Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, LLC
Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, LLC (Coke Florida) is a family-owned Coca-Cola bottler with an exclusive sales and distribution territory that serves over 21 million consumers across 47 Florida counties, and includes the major metropolitan markets of Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, and Tampa. Coke Florida markets, sells, manufactures, distributes, and merchandises over 600 products of The Coca-Cola Company and other partner companies such as Monster Energy. The company is the sixth largest Coca-Cola bottler in the United States. Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Tampa, Florida, Coke Florida is the fourth largest Black-owned business in the United States, one of the largest minority-owned businesses in Florida, and a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certified company. In 2023, the company was named a US Best Managed Company, for the second consecutive year, joining an elite group of private companies holding this designation awarded by Deloitte-Private and The Wall Street Journal. To learn more, visit cokeflorida.com.