As part of its national, "Making Life Easier", charitable giving campaign, Toyota Financial Services announced today that it is awarding 43 scholarships for teens and young adult Boys & Girls Clubs members. The 43 recipients and their families were invited to spend the day at Toyota's Torrance headquarters where they were treated to a day of tours (including the Toyota Museum), lunch and an awards ceremony. Several hundred employees of Toyota Financial Services, members of the community and high schools from which some of the recipients recently graduated, attended the event.
The $150,000 scholarship fund, established in April as part of a $500,000 inaugural investment in the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Los Angeles, was open to members, youth staff and recent alumni of the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Los Angeles. Recipients were selected by a review committee that included: Yolanda Duarte, East L.A. Chamber of Commerce; Ron Mukai, Maravilla Business Association; Ritchie Ribero, East L.A. Lions Club; Lt. Henry Romero representing Capt. Marilyn Baker, Captain of the East L.A. Sheriffs Department; Alejandra Velazquez representing Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez; Kristie Hernandez representing Senator Gloria Romero.
Applicants were required to write essays outlining their achievements and life goals. Recipients were chosen based on merit, academic performance, financial need, and community involvement.
The scholarships will allow recipients to pursue their higher education goals by providing up to $10,000 for university, college, trade or vocational school tuition and fees. In addition to scholarships and financial support, TFS' inaugural gift to the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Los Angeles also includes three Toyota Sienna mini-vans and support for the club's after-school and family skills development programs. The vans, customized with artwork by renowned local muralist Paul Botello, were on display at today's event.
The decision to make such a substantial investment in the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Los Angeles was inspired by employee involvement and is in keeping with Toyota Financial Services' national giving strategy of supporting disadvantaged youth.
George Borst, president and CEO of Toyota Financial Services, addressed the crowd, congratulating the recipients and awarding each with a certificate acknowledging their accomplishment.
"These scholarships are part of TFS' national giving strategy of "Making Life Easier for Youth" and our efforts to support educational and youth programs across the country," explained Borst. "Today's recipients from the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Los Angeles have not only excelled academically, they have given a great deal of themselves to their neighborhoods and serve as role-models for other youth. Having the opportunity to recognize these 43 outstanding young adults today and support their dreams of pursuing higher education is particularly rewarding as we are investing not just in them, but in the community as a whole."
Several of the day's top scholarship recipients shared with the crowd stories of persevering despite severe economic hardship, family struggles, and violence in the community.
Particularly inspiring were twins, Natalie and Crystal Corrilo, of Garfield High School. Student Body President and Vice President (respectively) and both Class Valedictorians, the twins will both attend Dartmouth College this fall. Natalie will major in Economics and Crystal will study Pre-Med.
Espousing the values of the Boys & Girls Clubs, Crystal Corrilo explained to the crowd, "I want to come back to my community to help make it better, to serve as a role model and to encourage other kids to pursue college."
Miguel Ruiz, also a Garfield High School graduate, spoke as well. Ruiz will attend University of California, Santa Cruz to pursue a degree in Biology and eventually a career in medicine. "Growing up in East Los Angeles, I realized there is a need for good and helpful Spanish speaking doctors," explained Ruiz, who currently volunteers as a first-aid trainer. "I want to serve my community," Ruiz added, "and I know a college education is key."
ABOUT THE BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF EAST LOS ANGELES
Since 1950, the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Los Angeles (BGCs-ELA) have provided quality youth programs to neighborhoods with increasing demands for greater community involvement. Combined through three sites, more than 500 youth are served daily and a total of 1,900 are currently annual members. To assist working parents and to provide added security, the SMART Ride Program offers transportation to the three sites for students from 40 schools in East Los Angeles, Montebello, Monterey Park, and Commerce. After-school programs are designed for youth ages 5–18 and evening programs are available for their parents. Programs are diverse and focus on six core tenets: (1) Education, Technology and Career; (2) Character and Leadership; (3) Health and Life Skills; (4) Sports, Fitness and Recreation; (5) the Arts; and (6) Family Resources.
ABOUT TOYOTA FINANCIAL SERVICES
Headquartered in Torrance, Calif., Toyota Financial Services (TFS) is the finance and insurance brand for Toyota in the United States, offering retail auto financing and leasing through Toyota Motor Credit Corporation (TMCC) and extended service contracts through Toyota Motor Insurance Services (TMIS). TFS currently employs approximately 3,000 associates nationwide, and has managed assets totaling more than $65 billion. It is part of a worldwide network of comprehensive financial services offered by Toyota Financial Services Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation. Committed to helping people improve the quality of life in their communities, TFS launched its national Making Life Easier Program on April 16, 2007 by announcing an inaugural partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Los Angeles. TFS is proud to create new experiences and educational opportunities for youth through scholarships and support for after-school and SMART Ride programs.
For more information about TFS, please visit www.toyotafinancial.com
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