PLANO, Texas, July 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- For 17-year-old David Thang, growing up an illiterate boy in a small town in Myanmar could have thwarted his dream of becoming a doctor. He had thought escaping a country ruled by the Burmese military – often accused of ruthless and inhumane military tactics – was the hardest obstacle he'd have to overcome.
Then his father became ill and Thang had to work to cover medical bills, only to ultimately watch cancer take his father's life.
"After my father died, my desire to become a doctor grew even stronger because I want to prevent such a loss," he says.
With a scholarship from Toyota and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF), life will be a bit easier for Thang and 21 other Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) students as they pursue an education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
The $5,000 scholarships – awarded to 11 APIA students in Southern California and 11 in North Texas – are offered through a collaborative partnership between Toyota and APIASF, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing college scholarships to APIAs.
Tracey Doi, Toyota group vice president and chief financial officer, is the executive sponsor of the scholarship program, and a strong advocate for Toyota's employee resource group, TAASiA (Toyota Asian American Society in Alliance).
"I am very excited that Toyota continues to help talented students pursue their dreams," says Doi. "Toyota is a real champion of diversity and inclusion, and advocates for underserved communities. We're so proud to recognize the academic excellence and perseverance of these scholars."
For the third consecutive year, Toyota is driving opportunities for real-world experience by offering a paid internship to one of its Toyota APIASF scholarship recipients. "This unique internship will empower a student with hands-on experience in the workplace," says Karen Ideno, vice president of product, marketing, corporate social responsibility, and communications at Toyota Financial Services. "It will provide the scholar with the interpersonal skills necessary to succeed on the job, and gain valuable insights into his or her long-term career goals."
In its sixth year, the scholarship program received over 10,000 student applications. Intended majors for the awarded students range from biochemistry to computer engineering, and school selections from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Thang plans to attend the University of Texas at Arlington.
About Toyota Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. and North America for 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. During that time, Toyota has created a tremendous value chain as our teams have contributed to world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 33 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 46,000 people (more than 36,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold almost 2.7 million cars and trucks (2.45 million in the U.S.) in 2016 – and about 85 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 15 years are still on the road today.
Toyota partners with community, civic, academic, and governmental organizations to address our society's most pressing mobility challenges. We share company resources and extensive know-how to support non-profits to help expand their ability to assist more people move more places. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.
About Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund Based in Washington, D.C., the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) is the nation's largest non-profit organization devoted to providing college scholarships for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). APIASF works to create opportunities for students to access, complete, and succeed after post-secondary education; thereby developing future leaders who will excel in their career, serve as role models in their communities, and will ultimately contribute to a more vibrant America. Since 2003, APIASF has distributed over $110 million in scholarships to AAPI students. APIASF manages three scholarship programs: the APIASF General Scholarship, the APIASF Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander - Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) Scholarship, and the Gates Millennium Scholars/Asian Pacific Islander Americans funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.