Toyota Awards $1.12 Million In Scholarships To 100 High School Seniors

May 11, 2007

May 11, 2007 – Louisville, KY - Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., (TMS) rewarded 100 high school seniors with $1.12 million in college scholarships for their commitment to education and community service at an awards banquet tonight.

The winners, who make up the 11th class of Toyota Community Scholars, were chosen from a pool of more than 8,000 students nationwide nominated by their schools. To be eligible, students must be proven leaders both in the classroom and in their communities.

Based on the countless service projects conducted by the 2007 class, it is clear these 100 students view community service not as an obligation, but a way of life. As one Scholar, Brian Fontenot of Baytown, Texas, put it: "I have found that the influence volunteering has had on me is not one big factor, but many small details merged together, shaping who I am, how much I understand about life and teaching me compassion toward others."

For the 2007 class, their dreams of making a difference became reality through programs ranging from raising $25,000 toward the fight against muscular dystrophy to the promotion of hydrogen fuel cells as an alternative to gas-fueled engines to combating hunger through the growing of over 111,000 pounds of fresh vegetables that were then donated to local food pantries.

"What these 100 high school seniors have accomplished in regard to community service and academics at such a young age is truly amazing," said Michael Rouse, TMS corporate manager of philanthropy and community affairs. "Their commitment to helping those in need is inspiring. The future holds no limits; we are convinced they will have a very positive impact on the world around them."

The scholarships are valued at $20,000 or $10,000 each, over four years, for study at a four-year college or university starting in the fall of 2007. Since the Toyota Community Scholars program began in 1997, TMS has awarded over $12 million in scholarships to 1,100 students across the U.S.

Cristina Costantini, a Toyota Community Scholar from Milwaukee, Wis., is a prime example of the dedication to community service exhibited by this year's class. As the founder of "Bikes for Sierra Leone," Costantini oversaw a volunteer network that collected and refurbished over 300 bicycles for school-age children and teachers of this impoverished, war-ravaged country in Africa. (Because many students and teachers live three to seven miles from the nearest school, transportation is a significant barrier to education in Sierra Leone.)

Costantini organized a drive to collect bikes, school supplies and medical supplies -- plus raised the $8,800 it took to ship the items to Sierra Leone. In addition to the bikes, 70 computers and crates of supplies were donated.

Consequently, Costantini, like many of the Scholars, found community service to be the roadmap to what she wants to do in the future. "I am considering a career in the field of Foreign Service, and I hope someday to be involved in humanitarian projects on a larger scale."

The Toyota Community Scholars program is administered by Educational Testing Services in Princeton, N.J. The 12 national winners ($20,000 each) and 88 regional winners ($10,000 each) were selected by a panel of college and university admissions officials from across the U.S.

The scholarship winners were guests of honor tonight at an awards banquet in Louisville that was attended by education, community, business and government leaders. Rory Kennedy, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, was the keynote speaker.

The two-and-a-half-day program included a tour of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc., in Georgetown, which builds the Camry, Camry hybrid, Avalon and Solara vehicles. In addition, the Scholars cruised the Ohio River on the Belle of Louisville (a historic paddle wheeler), and participated in a "ride and drive" that put them behind the wheel of four Toyota vehicles: FJ Cruiser, Yaris, RAV4 and Camry.

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. is the marketing, sales, distribution and customer service arm of Toyota, Lexus and Scion in the United States, marketing products and services through a network of 1,427 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealers in 49 states. Established in 1957, TMS and its subsidiaries also are involved in distribution logistics, motorsports, and research and development.


                                                          CITY                                 HIGH SCHOOL


Robert Whitaker                                 Birmingham                      Briarwood Christian High School


Hannah Watkins                                 Kenai                                Kenai Central High School           


Anita Lin                                            Scottsdale                         Desert Mountain High School

Anthony Sciubba                                Gilbert                               Higley High School


Kent Butler                                         Berryville                           Berryville High School


Bartell Cope                                        Aptos                               Stevenson School

Jaclyn D’Arcy *                                   Soquel                              Merit Academy

Angela Holcomb                                 Inglewood                          Morningside High School

Karen Hong                                        Rohnert Park                     Montgomery High School 

Jacky Kwong                                      San Francisco                  Lowell High School

Brett Mamer                                       Brawley                             Brawley Union High School

Maxwell Murialdo *                              Westminster                     Los Alamitos High School

Ann Thompson                                   Paso Robles                     Templeton High School


Cara Feldkamp                                   Evergreen                         Denver School of the Arts

Stacey Squatrito                                Colorado Springs              Pine Creek High School


Elizabeth Americo                              Guilford                              Guilford High School


Hannah Baker                                    Bolling AFB                       Annapolis Area Christian School


Erin Cloninger                                     Oviedo                               Oviedo High School

Bing Han                                            Jacksonville                       Stanton College Preparatory School

Quintin Haynes *                                Rockledge                         Rockledge High School

Evan Kalina                                        Miami                                Felix Varela Senior High School

Benjamin McAfee                               Cooper City                       Cooper City High School


Andrew Hollar                                     Suwanee                           South Forsyth High School


Kyle Monette                                      Mililani                                Mililani High School


Keegan Poppen                                  Eagle                                 River Stone Community School


Patrick Lee                                        South Barrington               Barrington Community High School


Reed Spencer                                    Rochester                         Rochester Community High School

Andrea Stevens                                  Hamilton                            Hamilton Community School

Gautham Vaidyanathan                       Granger                             Penn High School


Tony Wang                                        Urbandale                          Valley High School


Connie Hu                                          Olathe                               Olathe South High School

Ashley Kongs                                     Washington                       Washington County High School

Mallory Mahoney                                 Russell                              Russell High School


Jacob Edwards                                  Columbia                           Adair County High School

David Tao II                                        Bardstown                         The McCallie School

Kristen Wilburn                                  Rush                                 Boyd County High School


Huang Huang                                     Shreveport                        Caddo Parish Magnet High School

Tanmay Misra                                    Lafayette                           Lafayette High School


Brittanny Lee *                                    West Bath                         Morse High School


Erica Esposito                                    Columbia                           Glenelg Country School


Hui Feng                                            West Roxbury                   Boston Latin School

Vivek Sant                                          Andover                             Andover High School


Simran Chawa                                   Sterling Heights                 Utica High School

Yanyao Fu                                         Battle Creek                      Lakeview High School

Jane Yang *                                       Ypsilanti                            Lincoln Senior High School


Tyler Josephson                                 Redwood Falls                  Redwood Valley High School

Emma McGlennen                             Edina                                 Edina High School


Erica Pannell                                     Tupelo                               Tupelo High School

Latoyia Slay                                      Greenville                          St. Joseph High School


Jennifer Kinney                                  Saint Charles                    Duchesne High School

John Miller                                        Springfield                         Glendale High School

Stephen Robertson                            Lincoln                               Lincoln R-II High School

Kristi Williams


< back

You must be logged in to view this item.

This area is reserved for members of the news media. If you qualify, please update your user profile and check the box marked "Check here to register as an accredited member of the news media". Please include any notes in the "Supporting information for media credentials" box. We will notify you of your status via e-mail in one business day.

Copyright Notice

All materials on this site are for editorial use only. The use of these materials for advertising, marketing or any other commercial purpose is prohibited. They may be cropped but not otherwise modified. To download these materials, you must agree to abide by these terms.