In looking for ways to bring its brand purposes to life, American Licorice Company decided to empower local high school students through their EMBRACE YOUR PUNCH scholarships. EMBRACE YOUR PUNCH, the message behind American Licorice Company’s Sour Punch brand, encourages young people to love what makes them unique and celebrate the differences in others.
Eligibility for an American Licorice Company EMBRACE YOUR PUNCH scholarship largely boils down to one simple but impactful component: an essay about students overcoming adversity. While American Licorice Company also considers a student’s grades and activities, Corporate Communications Manager Liz Boyna shared that the company takes a holistic approach when assessing student applicants.
“We focus less on what you would traditionally consider for a scholarship, instead focusing on their experience, the unique gifts they have, the adversity they have overcome using those unique gifts, and what they are looking to do in their future,” Boyna said. “We’re taking a more holistic look at the entire person and their situation. I think it's a great way to continue putting that message out there—that what makes you different makes you special.”
Community Outreach Program Coordinator Nicole Krol noted one of the highlights of the American Licorice Company scholarship is its accessibility. She pointed out that learning comes more easily to some students than it does to others, and American Licorice Company wanted to look beyond academics when awarding scholarships.
“We're not all meant to go to a four-year school. You need people that are involved in vocations. It was really important to me to make this a scholarship that was accessible to every student in the school that wanted to continue with their education,” Krol said.
Not only does American Licorice Company offer accessibility in securing the scholarship, but it also offers flexibility in how students use the scholarship. Students have direct access to the funds and can use them to purchase laptops, textbooks, and other items they may need to continue their education. Additionally, if students are not ready to continue their education right after their high school graduation, they can hold onto their scholarships until they are ready.
Krol recounts that the American Licorice Company had so many great applicants this year that it awarded scholarships to four students.
“Typically, we'll just award one scholarship, but we really wanted to be flexible. It was so hard to decide because we had so many amazing entries this year, so we ended up awarding four scholarships,” Krol said. “We could really tell the ones that take the time and share their story, and if we think that we've got three or four amazing applicants, we're going to pivot and award all of them.”
Boyna is grateful for American Licorice Company’s focus on bolstering the community through direct contributions like scholarships. Championing young people—whether it be through time, talent, or resources—gets back to the heart of the EMBRACE YOUR PUNCH message.
“I think having financial security when planning the next step in your future as a young person is a huge confidence builder. You know you have a community behind you that's willing to support you in whatever your educational journey looks like,” Boyna said. “We’re excited that we have a lot of great young people in the community that we can help in a small way.”
To learn more about American Licorice Company, visit americanlicorice.com.