OAK BROOK, Ill., June 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- To help pave the way toward higher education, Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®), with the exclusive support of McDonald's® Hispanic owner/operators, will award four college-bound Hispanic high school seniors an RMHC®/HACER® National Scholarship of $100,000 each. The RMHC/HACER National Scholarship is part of the Charity's and McDonald's commitment to helping students reach their full potential.
This year's scholarship recipients are Manuel Tejeda, Tampa, Fla.; Olivia Velasquez, Ottawa, Ohio; Yanet Gomez, Naples, Fla.; and Juliana Pena, Ashburnham, Mass. National scholarship recipients are selected based on academic achievement, community involvement and financial need. The rigorous selection process includes a completed application, essay and interviews with a distinguished panel of judges representing academia, business, media, RMHC and McDonald's.
"We're committed to providing Hispanic students across the country opportunities to continue building promising futures with the financial support of the RMHC/HACER National Scholarship," said J.C. Gonzalez-Mendez, president and CEO of RMHC. "We know this year's scholarship recipients have worked diligently to pursue their college dreams, and we're proud to help make those dreams a reality."
"Finding out that I won the RMHC/HACER National Scholarship was the greatest moment of my senior year, even more so than getting into college," said Juliana Pena. "With this scholarship and the support of the entire organization, I will be able to pursue my college degree at the University of Pennsylvania and be one step closer to becoming a leader in this global world."
The RMHC/HACER Scholarship was established in 1985 by McDonald's owner/operator and former educator Richard Castro after noticing increasing school dropout rates among Hispanic students due to financial difficulties. RMHC/HACER, which stands for Hispanic American Commitment to Education Resources, counts on the support of RMHC, McDonald's Corporation and McDonald's Hispanic owner/operators. To date, more than $28 million in scholarship monies have been awarded.
In 2008, the national scholarship was founded, offering four $100,000 awards to Hispanic high school seniors. Since then, the national scholarship has provided $3.1 million in financial assistance to 31 students across the country.
Past scholarship recipients have attended prestigious universities, including Stanford University and Harvard University, and continued on to pursue careers in the medical, engineering and business fields, among others.
College-bound high school seniors are encouraged to apply for the upcoming 2016 RMHC/HACER Scholarship. Applications become available in October 2015 and awarded students are notified in the spring, which coincides with college acceptances.
About Ronald McDonald House Charities
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children. Through its global network of local Chapters in 62 countries and regions, its three core programs, the Ronald McDonald House®, the Ronald McDonald Family Room® and the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®, and millions of dollars in grants to support children's programs worldwide, RMHC provides stability and vital resources to families so they can get and keep their children healthy and happy. All RMHC-operated and supported programs provide access to quality health care and give children and families the time they need together to heal faster and cope better. For more information, visit www.rmhc.org, follow RMHC on Twitter (@RMHC), or like RMHC on Facebook (Facebook.com/RMHC Global).
McDonald's USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to more than 27 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald's 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. Customers can now log online for free at approximately 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald's U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit www.mcdonalds.com, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds and Facebook www.facebook.com/mcdonalds.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
SOURCE Ronald McDonald House Charities