McDonald's Hacer National Scholarship graphic.
Katya Echazarreta, from McDonald's to outer space. Photo: McDonald's.

McDonald's USA promotes HACER National Scholarship

It joined Katya Echazarreta, a former employee of the firm who recently made history as the first Mexican to travel to outer space.


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With the goal of helping Hispanic high school seniors achieve success, the grant, in addition to allocating $500,000 to 30 recipients, will feature Echazarreta's participation in inspiring this group of students to pursue their dreams of higher education.

The Mexican stated:

Reuniting with McDonald’s for the HACER National Scholarship is a very special full-circle moment. As a former crew member, I learned the importance of connecting with people and rising above challenging situations, valuable life skills that helped shape my approach towards becoming an astronaut.

National Scholarship

The National McDonald's HACER Scholarship is one of the largest programs committed to college scholarships and resources for Hispanics that helps close the educational gap.

Echazarreta, a former first-generation college student, will participate as a guest speaker on this year's HACER Education Tour in high schools in select U.S. cities, and as host of in-person and virtual tutoring sessions.

“As a Latina in STEM, I initially didn’t have many people to turn to for advice, especially when it came to education.  I look forward to meeting  students across the country and inviting them to push beyond what they believe are their own limits. After all, I’ve learned the sky is far from the limit,” added Echazarreta.

Education Workshops and Mentoring Sessions

The McDonald's HACER Education Tour, now on its 10th consecutive year, will make three stops at select high schools in Las Vegas, Nevada, Los Angeles, California, and El Paso, Texas, to shine a light on how perseverance and passion for learning helped shaping Echazarreta's journey to become an electronics engineer for NASA.

The educational workshop series will provide participating students with access to motivational speakers from Cool Speak, the nation's leading youth engagement company, as well as resources to navigate the college application process, including financial aid information, writing workshop and more.

Echazarreta will also lead a series of 1:1 in-person tutoring sessions with college-bound Hispanic students at select McDonald's restaurants from November through January. High school students from across the country will also have the opportunity to participate in a virtual tutoring session with the Mexican on January 25.

“The Golden Arches are shining extra bright as we welcome Katya back into the McDonald’s family. Our crew members are out of this world, and we’re proud to see an alum shatter glass ceilings while making the seemingly impossible, possible. As a leader who continuously inspires others to follow their dreams, we can’t think of anyone better suited to help us encourage future college students to apply to the HACER National Scholarship,” noted Richard Castro, a McDonald’s Owner/Operator and national HACER scholarship chairperson. 

About the scholarship

For 37 years, McDonald's and its owner/operators have helped provide a bright future for more than 17,000 students through the National HACER Scholarship, investing more than $33 million to help them attend college.

In addition, the Archways to Opportunity crew program provides eligible employees at participating U.S. restaurants with the ability to earn a high school diploma, receive initial college tuition assistance, access free education/ professional advice, and learning English as a second language.

The scholarship application period for the 2022-2023 academic year is open until February 6, 2023. Click here to apply and learn more.


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