The award-winning Francis Ford Coppola Winery is now offering full-tuition scholarships for employees interested in pursuing their education at Sonoma State University. The first beneficiaries, dubbed the “Coppola Winery Scholars,” began their studies during the 2019 fall semester and are already working towards their degrees.
“We wanted to partner with a local university to cover employees’ college education. Naturally, we reached out to our contacts at the Wine Business Institute in the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University,” said Corey Beck, The Family Coppola CEO and Chief of Winemaking. “We knew about the Wine Industry Scholars Program and Rodney Strong Pathways Program that the Wine Business Institute had spearheaded and tapped their expertise to help us implement the idea.”
“We are very excited about this new partnership with the Francis Ford Coppola Winery,” said Sonoma State President Judy K. Sakaki. ” We are also pleased that employers and professionals in the region look to Sonoma State University as the destination for their education.”.
Coppola Winery Scholars include Catalina Gonzalez and Gia Gagliardino. Catalina, the Rustic: Francis’s Favorites restaurant pastry chef, has been with the Francis Ford Coppola Winery for five years and will study psychology. Gia is a food and beverage supervisor and has been with the company for nearly four years. Both recipients are expected to complete their degrees the spring of 2023.
“The program is benefiting me so much. I don’t have to stress myself out on how I’m going to pay for school, and that gives me more time and energy to prioritize my classes. My parents and my sister are my main motivation to pursue this degree,” Catalina says.
“The Family Coppola is a wonderful company in that they recognize how important employees are to the growth and success of the organization,” said Gia Gagliardino, who is currently a senior in Business Administration with a focus on marketing and wine studies. “Through this scholarship opportunity, I know my company believes in me and my future. It’s motivating.”