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Chosen students come from 13 different states. Photo: Courtesy HACER.

McDonald's allocates $500,000 for Hispanic students in the U.S.

The initiative will benefit more than 30 exceptional young people who excel beyond the classroom.

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The McDonald's HACER® National Scholarship Program recently announced the beneficiaries of its thirty-eighth edition.

There are 31 Hispanic students from all over the country who will be able to begin their university experience after receiving a combined $500,000 as beneficiaries of the fellowship. 

Richard Castro, a McDonald’s Owner/Operator and national HACER® scholarship chairperson, said in a press release:

We’re proud to celebrate our newest recipients and encourage aspiring college students to kickstart their journey toward a brighter future by applying for HACER®.

About the Grant

Founded in 1985, HACER® has become one of the largest programs committed to providing scholarships and college resources for Hispanics, awarding more than $33 million in scholarships to more than 17,000 students across the United States.

Its primary goal is to provide educational opportunities to help close the gap between Hispanic college-bound students, further reinforcing McDonald's long-standing commitment to “feeding and fostering the diverse communities it serves.”

The scholarship program also seeks to change the narrative from disparity to empowerment by offering tutoring, academic resources, and financial aid to support students every step of the way.

“Recipients are selected based on academic achievement, community involvement, and financial need through a rigorous selection process that includes an application, questionnaire, and interviews with a panel of judges representing academia, business, media and McDonald’s USA,” highlights the release.

Positive Progress

According to the organization, recent research has revealed a promising trend in which the number of Hispanic students pursuing college studies is steadily increasing year after year.

Likewise, data reveal that by 2026, Hispanic enrollment in higher education will exceed 4 million students, with a growth rate that will exceed that of any other racial-ethnic group by more than 10%.

The HACER® National Scholarship Program also highlights that, despite the upward trend in enrollment, the graduation rate for Hispanics is 13% lower than their non-Hispanic peers.

“According to a 2021 Pew Research Center survey, the primary reasons cited by the majority of Hispanic students without a bachelor's degree and not currently enrolled in school are the need to contribute to their family's financial support and the inability to afford a four-year degree,” underscored HACER®.

Number of beneficiaries by state. Photo: Courtesy HACER.
Number of beneficiaries by state. Photo: Courtesy HACER.

Beneficiaries

These are some of the winners highlighted by the organization:

  • Salomon Bibas, Miami, Florida: A student who developed an app mockup for laryngectomees—patients who have had their voice box at least partially removed—to effectively communicate after his father’s untreatable vocal chord illness forever impacted his speech. His decision to pursue his studies in engineering were also partially motivated by the Tepuis of Venezuela, some of the oldest geologic formations in South America, to help tackle and minimize devastating climate impacts.
  • Angie Espinoza, Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania: A student who founded a student-led international nonprofit organization to distribute supplies to underserved communities in the Dominican Republic, including fully equipped bookbags with school supplies, menstrual care products, athletic footwear and briefs. 
  • Samuel Rodriguez, San Leandro, California: A student dedicated to mentoring other young men and empowering them to prioritize their mental health and pursue goals. His own journey of triumph over adversity, including overcoming the challenges of a home fire and a car accident, fuels his passion for making a positive impact. 

“Everyone deserves a fair chance at chasing their dreams. We recognize the financial hurdles many students and their families face in pursuing a college education, and for this reason McDonald’s and our Hispanic Owner/Operators remain committed to our investments and fostering educational opportunities,” added Castro. 

Click here to see the full list of beneficiaries.

The organization invites Hispanic college-bound high school seniors and their parents to visit mcdonalds.com/hacer to learn more about resources offered in English and Spanish, and for details on how to submit a request.

The next scholarship application period opens in Oct. 2023 and runs until Feb. 2024.

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