TORRANCE, Calif., May 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The rising cost of higher education is a growing concern among high school students as they prepare for college entry in the fall. In order to alleviate some of the worry, Toyota awarded tuition support to 21 college-bound Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) students from southern California, whose studies focus heavily on the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.
Toyota, in partnership with the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) presented recipients with a $2,500 scholarship toward a degree in a STEM field. The scholarships were presented to students on May 5, 2014 at Toyota's third annual awards dinner and reception at the Toyota Automotive Museum in Torrance, Calif.
APIASF is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing college scholarships to APIAs, The selected students' heritages trace to eight countries in the API region, including China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Korea, India and Bangladesh.
Selected students have intended majors ranging from biomedical sciences to mechanical engineering, and have been accepted to universities including University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University.
"By awarding me the APIASF/Toyota Scholarship, I am able to concentrate on what is important for my education," says scholarship recipient Julliane Bacerdo from Community Charter Early College High School. "Your generosity has allowed me to be one step closer to my goal."
Julliane plans to study biology at San Diego State University and pursue a career in the medical field.
"Toyota is proud to celebrate the outstanding academic achievements and community service of the 21 APIASF scholars," said Tracey Doi, Toyota group vice president and chief financial officer. "These recipients were selected from a pool of nearly 7,000 applicants, and we are thrilled to support our next generation of leaders."
Doi, also in attendance at the ceremony, is an advocate of Toyota Asian American Society in Alliance (TAASiA), an employee resource group that leverages the strength of a growing APIA population within Toyota in order to foster an environment and corporate culture of diversity and inclusion.
Toyota also hosted its executives Karen Ideno, Ron Chu, Elaine S. Matsuda and Nihar Patel, who participated in a panel discussion on the topic, "What has inspired you in your personal and professional development?" All active TAASiA members, the panel participants provided the audience a deeper insight on life and career experiences to the young scholars as they embark on their college journey.
In addition to Toyota's corporate contribution, the Toyota Giving Circle, an organization that allows associates to donate to their chosen charity, partnered with Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy to contribute to the APIASF scholarships this year.
Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. Toyota directly employs over 31,000 in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $23 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design.
Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed nearly 700 million dollars to philanthropic programs in the U.S.
For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit http://www.toyota.com/philanthropy.