DETROIT, April 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The first five recipients of the Buick Achievers Scholarship Program were named today. These college-bound students from around the country will each receive a scholarship of up to $25,000 that is renewable for up to four years.
The $4.5 million-a-year scholarship program, which Buick and the General Motors Foundation announced in February, will recognize and reward 1,100 students from across the United States who excel both in the classroom and in the community. The program is funded by the GM Foundation.
"Through the Buick Achievers Scholarship program we are reinvesting in America," said John T. Montford, chairman, GM Foundation. "The availability of Buick Achievers Scholarship funds is expected to make a significant difference in these students' lives. The high-dollar value and renewability of the awards will provide recipients with a tremendous benefit throughout their college careers and help ensure that they reach their potential."
According to The College Board®, the average annual tuition increase in 2010-2011 was 7.9 percent at public universities and 4.5 percent at private colleges. These figures are substantially higher than both the general inflation rate and personal income growth.
"This scholarship program aligns with Buick's efforts to inspire, celebrate, and enable human achievement," said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president, Buick Marketing.
The first five recipients of the 2011 Buick Achievers Scholarship Program include:
- Stavros Stratis of Metairie, La., who hopes to major in mechanical engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. Stavros has held several leadership positions with the Greek Orthodox Youth of America, a teen ministry group. He also has been active in Boy Scouts of America, Mu Alpha Theta (Math Club), Quiz Bowl, National Honor Society, Chess Club and Hellenic Folk Dance.
- Jennifer Gammond of Aventura, Fla., who hopes to major in business administration, accounting or economics, possibly at Cornell University. Jennifer founded Assisting Kids In Need (AKIN) to help families with basic needs such as food, schooling, health care, and teaches affluent children to be compassionate to those in need. She also is a member of the Community Service Board, president of the Spanish Club, treasurer of the Teenage Republican Club, and a volunteer at her church.
- Daniel Graupensperger of Auburn, Calif., who hopes to major in chemical engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles. Daniel has served in leadership positions with the Placer County Youth Commission, which strives to create awareness about the dangers of underage substance abuse. He also serves as editor-in-chief of the school newspaper and thematic editor of the yearbook, is active in his church's Young Men's Bible Study and is captain of the Nazarene Bible Quiz Team.
- Donovan Colquitt of Southfield, Mich., who will be majoring in mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Donovan is the co-founder of Youth Empowerment, a mentoring program for high school students. He also has served as team captain of the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, is a board member on the Orchards Children's Services Youth organization, chair of the Student Congress student/teacher appreciation committee, and member of the Class Board.
- Won Ryan Lee of Montvale, NJ, who will be majoring in chemical engineering at Harvard University. Won is founder and president of Strings for Little Stars, an organization that provides free music instruction to underprivileged children. He also pursues independent research in nanotechnology and stem cell science, and participates in Model UN, UNICEF-USA Volunteer Club, Student Council, Chemistry Team, Global Ambassadors and Mock Trial Team.
In addition to providing 100 students with up to $25,000 per year, Buick Achievers will provide 1,000 students with $2,000 scholarships renewable for up to four years. Eligible fields of study include science, technology, engineering, mathematics, design, marketing and business administration. All told, the foundation's annual funding could reach $18 million annually after four years.
The Buick Achievers Scholarship Program is the latest example of GM Foundation education initiatives to invest in the youth of America. The GM Foundation has provided more than $26 million in education-related initiatives since 2005.
Eligibility for the 2011-12 Buick Achievers Scholarship requires applicants to be high school seniors or high school graduates entering college for the first time in the fall of 2011; planning to enroll in full-time undergraduate study at an accredited four-year college or university for the entire 2011-12 academic year; and demonstrating an interest in the automotive industry. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and have permanent residence in the United States. Applications are closed for the 2011-12 academic year. For more information about the program, visit www.buickachievers.com.
About the GM Foundation
Since its inception in 1976, the GM Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to deserving American charities, educational organizations and to disaster relief efforts worldwide. The GM Foundation focuses on supporting Education, Health and Human Services, Environment and Energy and Community Development initiatives, mainly in the communities where GM operates. Funding of the GM Foundation comes solely from GM. The last contribution to the GM Foundation was made in 2001. For more information, visit www.gm.com/corporate/responsibility/community.
Buick is a modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors with thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning models, including the Enclave crossover, LaCrosse sedan, Regal sport sedan and highly anticipated all-new 2012 Buick Verano compact luxury sedan. Buick is the fastest growing major brand in the U.S. and remains a best-selling brand in China, with continuing record growth. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at www.buick.com, on Twitter @buick or at www.facebook.com/buick
SOURCE General Motors