Miami Dade College Homepage > MDC in the News

Two MDC Students Awarded Coca-Cola Scholarships, Prove Determination Can Overcome Obstacles

Students Angelica Matta and Claudia Bruce

Angelica Matta and Claudia Bruce

Miami, September 24, 2008 - Just before her first day at Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Honors College, Angelica Matta was severely injured in a head-on car accident. She was almost paralyzed, spending  two months in bed recovering from fractures in her pelvis and left ankle, a slipped disc in her cervical spine, and a concussion. Still, when the time came for her to once again volunteer at the Miami Children’s Hospital VACC Camp for ventilation assisted children, Matta showed up with a walker to fulfill her commitment.  

It’s that kind of determination that has taken her far. One year later, she is almost fully recovered and maintaining good grades. Recently, Matta was one of two students awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation through the foundation’s Two-Year Scholarship Program to help students attending higher education institutions granting two-year degrees succeed.

Matta is currently attending MDC’s Kendall Campus through the Bridges to the Future program, aimed at students interested in research careers in the biomedical sciences. The biology major said she is grateful for the extra money to help save up for medical school.

“My dream is to become a pediatric cardiologist. I dream of saving children’s lives and to be able to give back hope and faith to the parents that have suffered because of their children’s condition,” Matta, 19, wrote in her Coca-Cola scholarship application.

Claudia Bruce, an art major attending the Wolfson Campus, also won a Coca-Cola scholarship. She came to Miami to reinvent herself. After 17 years of owning and operating a fabric and fashion design business in New York, she turned her attention to art conservation with a specific focus on textiles and fabrics.

“My real interest is in not wanting these things to disappear,” said Bruce. “It’s so important to know where we come from.”

The Foundation’s Coca-Cola Scholars Program was created in 1986 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Coca-Cola and to establish a legacy for the education of tomorrow’s leaders. Now in its ninth year of funding the Coca-Cola Two-Year Colleges Scholarship Program, the Foundation has provided $3.7 million in scholarship to students attending two-year degree institutions and more than $35 million towards the Coca-Cola Scholars Program during the past 20 years. 

Coca-Cola Scholar Foundation contact: Jennifer Grizzle, 770-409-1152.

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
ethnicity, pregnancy, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, or genetic information.
Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.