Oakton College student named to Coca-Cola Academic Team

An Oakton College student has been named a 2024 Coca-Cola Academic Team Bronze Scholar, the Des Plaines-based school announced.

James Pauly of Des Plaines earned the prize from the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Program, which recognizes exceptional two-year college students.

“I am deeply humbled and incredibly grateful to be a Coca-Cola scholarship recipient,” Pauly said in the news release. “This is my first time receiving such recognition, and it's truly a surreal experience to see your efforts be acknowledged in such a profound manner.”

A graduate of Maine West High School in Des Plaines, Pauly enrolled at Oakton in 2022 and has consistently made the president’s list, maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA, according to the college. He’s president of Oakton’s Phi Theta Kappa honor society, and he previously was captain of the robotics team and leader of the software team.

Pauly intends to transfer to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to study material science and engineering.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation sponsors the Coca-Cola Academic Team program by recognizing 50 Gold, 50 Silver and 50 Bronze Scholars with nearly $200,000 in scholarships annually. Pauly and other Bronze Scholars each are awarded $1,000.

Students are nominated for the team by their college administrators. Selection is based on academic achievement, leadership and engagement in college and community service.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation supports more than 1,400 college students each year, awarding more than $3.5 million in scholarships annually through three programs. Learn more at

The scholarship is administered by Phi Theta Kappa.

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