Following a five-year tradition that has provided $1.9 million in scholarships for college-bound Hispanic students, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) announced the names of four Hispanic high school seniors who will each receive an RMHC/HACER National Scholarship of $100,000 to help finance their college education. The students were selected for their academic achievement, investment in community service and financial need.
This year's scholarships were awarded to Maria Fabre, from Edinburg, Texas, attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Kevin Pardinas, from Miami, attending Princeton University; Emily Salvador, from Vero Beach, Fla., attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Carina Zuniga, from San Juan, Texas, attending Baylor University. They were selected as the top achievers among a group of thousands of students who applied for the RMHC/HACER Scholarship Program.
"The 2012 RMHC/HACER National Scholarship recipients are joining a special family of young Hispanics who are both committed to academic excellence and to service to their communities," said Martin J. Coyne, president and CEO of RMHC. "Recent figures presented by the Census Bureau show that the number of Hispanics with college degrees has increased by 80 percent in the last 10 years, and we're especially proud to have assisted more than 15,000 Hispanic students since 1985 with more than $22 million in RMHC/HACER college scholarships."
To celebrate the recent college graduation of the 2008 RMHC/HACER National Scholarship recipients, McDonald's is hosting all 19 national scholarship recipients in McDonald's corporate hometown of Chicago for a three-day celebratory event. During this trip, the students will participate in mentoring sessions providing them with tips and resources for resume writing, job hunting, interview tips and networking skills.
The students will also have the opportunity to be of service to families at a local Ronald McDonald House. The trip will culminate in a graduation luncheon on Aug. 16, honoring the college graduates.
The three members of the 2008 RMHC/HACER National Scholarship college graduating class are Brian Campos, a neurobiology major at Harvard University; Samuel Cruz, an international business major and biology minor at Ramapo College of New Jersey; and Maira Mercado, an economics and history major at Claremont McKenna College.
"The RMHC/HACER National Scholarship made it possible to go to college despite my family's financial hardships," said 2008 recipient Samuel Cruz. "Now that I've finished my undergraduate degree, I am able to serve as a mentor to Hispanic high school and college students."
The RMHC/HACER Scholarship Program was founded in 1985 by McDonald's owner/operator Richard Castro of El Paso, Texas, with the support of RMHC, McDonald's Corp. and local Hispanic McDonald's owner/operators throughout the country.
Castro, a former educator, established the program after noticing increasing school drop-out rates among Hispanic students due to financial difficulties. The RMHC/HACER Scholarship Program provides awards ranging from $1,000 to $100,000 per student and is one of the country's largest college scholarship programs for graduating Hispanic high school students.
Applications for the 2013 scholarship program will be available this fall. For more information on the scholarships and other education resources, please visit www.rmhc.org and www.MeEncanta.com.
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