University of Missouri
The CACA Committee
What barriers have you had to overcome in order to gain an education?
Picture me, the morose infant, drowning in copious amounts of wedding lace fabric. I am perched on my mother’s hip as she chats amiably to another guest. Eyes pinched and lips puckered, I am a tempest held at bay only by the bottle of Coca-Cola I am slurping from. A remarkable relationship is born: I guzzle three more bottles during the occasion alone and nearly three hundred more over the course of my childhood and early adolescence.
My childhood obsession with Coca-Cola stemmed from my efforts to establish personal and social balance. I coveted the looks of the girl on the cherry-red billboard above the convenience store: all lightweight curls and effervescent mien, leading a life of bold Technicolor. When I needed to raise funds for my secondary school education, I thought of nothing other than the cherry-red complex on Alexander Road that claimed to be the Coca-Cola offices. My optimism was boundless: I put together a package that showed my academic merit and passion for engineering. I embodied the Coke mission statement; I expected that this similitude would fizz off my package and compel the management to invest my goals. I realized, from my mother’s sad smile when I presented my plan, that this would not be the case.
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