IRVINE, Calif., May 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Taco Bell Foundation announced today that it is awarding $3 million in Live Más Scholarships to 622 Taco Bell team members and fans, ranging from $2,500-$25,000 per student. In addition to awarding scholarships, the Taco Bell Foundation is providing $8 million in grants to local nonprofit organizations empowering youth across the country, during a time when access to educational resources is more essential than ever.
"We are so grateful for the ability to provide light for students during these dark times," said Tina Nguyen, Executive Director of the Taco Bell Foundation. "Even under these unfortunate circumstances, students still have dreams and passions they want to pursue, and we're here to help make that a reality. As students across the country face uncertainty about the future of their education and resources for learning, we hope this financial support will lessen the burden for them and their families."
With this year's winners, the Taco Bell Foundation now has a community of more than 1,000 Live Más scholars, who have received a total of $13.6 million since the program first opened in 2015. This year the Taco Bell Foundation is celebrating its first class graduating from college, more than 300 Live Más scholars, who will go on to pursue their passions and positively impact their communities.
Many Live Más scholars are taking impressive action to help their local communities amid the COVID-19 crisis, including:
- Amelia T. – A master's student in Integrated Design, Business and Technology at the University of Southern California, and owner of her own fashion company, Resident, Amelia is making masks for the homeless community out of collected fabric scraps.
- Jack G. – Three-time Live Más Scholarship recipient, and CEO of his company FoodFinder, Jack is raising awareness about food insecurity during the pandemic, and providing resources for students and their families who depended on meals at school.
- Joshua P. – Another three-time Live Más Scholarship recipient and student at Stanford University, Joshua brought more than 275 graduate students together via Facebook to create a COVID-19 Response Innovation Lab – an incubator to combat COVID-19, from 3D printing critical medical supplies to community-building platforms.
- Rafael B. – Using his passion of photo and video production, Rafael is conducting Zoom calls with students, some of which are frontline workers, to document their experiences living through COVID-19 with short, reflective videos.
Live Más Scholarships are just one of the many things the Taco Bell Foundation is offering to support communities during this time. After seeing the pressure COVID-19 is putting on students' educations, the Taco Bell Foundation decided to award $8 million in grants earlier than planned this year, that will go toward more than 350 youth-serving organizations across the country, including Boys and Girls Clubs, Junior Achievement, College Advising Corps and City Year. The Taco Bell Foundation also provided a $1 million donation to No Kid Hungry last month. Additionally, the Round Up program in Taco Bell restaurants has raised nearly $4 million, so far, to benefit No Kid Hungry.
The Taco Bell Foundation's Live Más Scholarship is designed to help students pursue their unique passions. Unlike other scholarships, the winners aren't chosen based on academic merit or athletic ability. All the application requires is a two-minute video describing your passion. Both employees and any young fans of the brand primarily ages 16-24 can apply.
About Taco Bell Foundation
Taco Bell Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity that helps America's young people follow their dreams and reach their full potential. Since 1992, the Taco Bell Foundation has helped more than 4 million youth across the country and has awarded more than $95 million in grants and scholarships, focused on education and career readiness. In 2015, Taco Bell and the Taco Bell Foundation launched the Live Más Scholarship, a program aimed at empowering the nation's next generation of dreamers, innovators and creators – those whose passions don't fall into the conventional "academic" or "athletic" qualifying categories of traditional scholarship programs. For more information visit TacoBellFoundation.org.
Polly Desien – Edelman
Jacqueline Cisneros – Taco Bell Corp.
SOURCE The Taco Bell Foundation