Seventeen Finalists Awarded $2,500 Scholarships

HOUSTON (August 13, 2007) - Minute Maid, Houston's hometown juice brand, and the Houston Astros announced the winners for the Grand Slam for Youth Baseball (GSFYB) Scholarships for high school seniors at the August 11th Astros game against the Milwaukee Brewers. In a pre-game ceremony on the ball field, seventeen (17) finalists received scholarships of $2,500, which will assist these students with college expenses.
"We are proud of these outstanding students and congratulate them on being selected as scholarship winners," says Mike Saint John, Sr. Vice-President, Coca-Cola North America/Minute Maid Business Unit and member of the MMGSFYB Scholarship Committee.  "This year we were able to select more winners than ever before thanks to incremental donations from the Houston Astros, the Houston Athletic Committee and RBI (Recycled Baseball Items)."

The scholarship winners include seven (7) first-generation students and three (3) women from high schools in Houston, Waller, Pasadena, Brenham, Webster and Wharton.  These students will pursue their degrees at a variety of institutions of higher learning ranging from Temple University in Philadelphia to Tuskegee University in Alabama with the University of Houston, the University of Texas, Texas A&M University and others - big and small - in the mix.  

GSFYB, a partnership between Minute Maid and the Houston Astros, is a four-pronged program that promotes youth baseball and softball, along with educational endeavors for area students. The four components include: 1) sponsorship of City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department's Youth Baseball/Softball Program through provision of uniforms, equipment and instruction; 2) refurbishment of one youth baseball field each year by providing renovation of playing fields, facilities, scoreboards and other needs; 3) implementation of a baseball-related educational program launched in 2005 to provide high school seniors with college scholarships; and 4) unique fund raising opportunities for youth baseball teams and leagues by working at the MMGSFYB concession stand at Minute Maid Park.

"Through our partnership with the Astros, we are committed to making a difference in the lives of many inner-city youth in Houston by furthering the cause of education via Grand Slam for Youth Baseball," says Saint John. "The scholarship program is one important facet of this overall effort. We believe these young adults will go on to achieve success and are excellent choices for the 2007 scholarships."

The scholarship winners are: Joshua Anagnostopoulos (Waltrip HS/Sam Houston State University); Queen Yentl Chambliss (Clear Brook HS/Temple University); Ryan Farr (Madison HS/Tuskegee University); Justin Graeber (Southwest HS/University of Texas); Scott Harydzak (Pasadena Memorial HS/University of Houston); Brett Hlavinka (Waltrip HS/Texas A&M University); Omar Martinez (Milby HS/University of Houston); Wade Mathis (Wharton HS/Lamar University); Matthew McArdle (Crosby HS/Texas A&M University); Andrew Mueller (Waltrip HS/Texas A&M University); Zachary Nichols (Waller HS/Tyler Junior College); Carlos Rangel (Reagan HS/University of Houston); Jocelyn Sierra (YES College Preparatory School/University of Texas); Caine Taylor (Lutheran HS North/University of Mary Hardin-Baylor); Sherri Thomas (Nimitz HS/University of Texas); Jason Wallingsford (Lutheran High North/Concordia University); and Cory Wellbrock (Brenham HS/University of Texas, San Antonio).

Houston's "home town juice brand" got its start right after World War II as the Florida Foods Corporation. The first president of FFC, John "Jack" Fox, actually went door-to-door in Massachusetts offering samples of the new orange juice product made from frozen concentrate. Today the company is part of Coca-Cola North America with more than 100 varieties of juice and juice drinks; the Minute Maid brand is a consumer favorite.

Please refer to this Education Page on the MMGSFYB website for further news Regarding the 2008 MMGSFYB Scholarship application information.