Darden Restaurants Foundation Donates $1.2 million To New "Recipe for Success" Scholarship and Peer Leader Training Program
FAIRFAX, Va., Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- UNCF–the United Negro College Fund–the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization, and College Summit, the largest provider of college-going culture support in the US, have partnered with Darden and its family of restaurant brands – Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52 – to create the Darden "Recipe for Success" Scholarship as part of a new $1.2 million initiative to build a robust and nationally recognized pipeline of under-represented students who will not only become highly-qualified college graduates, but will also support their peers along the pathway to college.
"UNCF is excited to partner with College Summit and Darden Restaurants to help close the gap in the areas of finance, college preparation, access and college completion for low income minority children," said Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., UNCF president and CEO. "The significant investment Darden is making in our students will enable us to move closer to reaching the goal set by President Obama, regaining for America world leadership in the percentage of citizens with college degrees."
Darden will continue to support UNCF's three member schools in Florida – Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, and Florida Memorial University in Miami – with a $180,000 grant.
The goal of this new program is to provide college matching, financial aid coaching and college application assistance to enhance college enrollment rates of 1300 high school students from low-income backgrounds. Additionally, the program will provide four- or five-year scholarships for at least 60 promising students from low-income backgrounds to help gain financial access to college. College Summit students in New York City, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. are eligible to participate.
"It's a great honor for College Summit to collaborate with these outstanding organizations to support students who are not only working hard to make it to and through college, but are leaders in their own high schools helping other students succeed," said J.B. Schramm, Founder and CEO of College Summit. "This unique opportunity supports something we see every day: students driving their high school culture to be one where every young person is on the path to postsecondary success."
Darden's "Recipe for Success" Scholarship is an extension of the work over the past two years between Darden and College Summit to train and support student Peer Leaders who motivate and encourage their classmates to enroll in college and develop college-going culture in their schools.
"Each year, thousands of young people don't get the opportunity to continue their education," said Clarence Otis Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Darden. "Our goal with the Recipe for Success program is to create opportunities for young people to realize their full potential."
The renewable scholarship award will be a $2,500 cash grant applied to the student's university account. Applicants for the Darden "Recipe for Success" must demonstrate unmet financial need, be accepted to an accredited college or university, and have participated in the College Summit program in New York City, NY; Los Angeles, CA or Washington, DC.
Applicants must contact the College Summit Representative at their school to obtain application materials. Candidates must submit the following documents to be considered:
1) A reference letter from a teacher, counselor, or principal describing the service provided by the applicant regarding motivating their peers to go to college
2) One page personal statement of career goals and specify why they want to go to college and what they hope to achieve.
For more information about this scholarship program, please contact David Ray, UNCF Senior Program Manager 703-205-3562.
UNCF—the United Negro College Fund—is the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students' education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 39 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 18 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."® Learn more at www.UNCF.org
About College Summit
College Summit is a national nonprofit founded in 1995. It partners with school districts to increase their college-going rates by fostering a high school culture where college-going is the expectation, not the exception. College Summit is the largest provider of college-going culture support in the United States, currently reaching 25,000 students at 180 schools in 12 states and the District of Columbia. Learn more at www.collegesummit.org
Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI), the world's largest full-service restaurant company, owns and operates more than 1,800 restaurants that serve 400 million meals a year and generate more than $7 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, and employing approximately 180,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. Our restaurant brands – Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52 – reflect the rich diversity of those who dine with us. Our brands are built on deep insights into what our guests want. For more information, please visit www.darden.com.
SOURCE United Negro College Fund