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Live Más scholars work on a group activity. Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News
Live Más scholars work on a group activity during the Live Más Scholarship Workshop in Philadelphia on July 17. Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News

Live Más Scholarship Workshop in Philadelphia: Helping build the next generation of innovators and creators

The three-day Live Más Scholarship Workshop helps strengthen the scholars’ passions and support their goals, while providing them with valuable tools towards…

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Access to education is one of the most essential tools towards longstanding success.

However, it is a fact that barriers exist for many individuals that put a strain on their ability to obtain a strong education, such as a lack of funding or scholarships that aren’t focused on a student’s grade point average or athletic skills.

Understanding this, the Taco Bell Foundation created the Live Más Scholarship without a GPA requirement or elite athletic ability, but rather a strong passion towards something and an ability to talk about the purpose behind that passion.

As part of the experience of being a Live Más scholar, the Taco Bell Foundation hosts three-day summer workshops in various cities across the U.S., with the goals of developing a community amongst the scholars; accelerating their post-secondary success with access to development resources; and empowering the scholars to give back to local and global communities through their passions. 

The Philadelphia stop of the workshop took place from July 16 to July 18. A total of 38 scholars participated in the workshop, each supremely passionate and eager to learn about how to use their passions to create a positive change in the world. 

A Rundown of the Sessions
The workshop provided the scholars with the valuable opportunity to bounce ideas off each other through a number of group activities, as well as talk to and hear from professionals who are working in their fields of interest. 

“We’re trying to leverage people who work in those spaces everyday to share their insights,” Dan Horgan, a consultant at MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and facilitator for the workshops, said.

For the first two days, a guest speaker joined the scholars as part of an "Influencer Talk," where the speaker detailed their journey and personal experiences that helped lead them to their current profession. 

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In addition to that, the scholars also received tips on how to improve their resume, enhance their personal brand, and refine their interviewing skills - all valuable tools to have after graduating college and looking to enter into the workplace. 

To start, each scholar detailed what their particular passion is - a prerequisite of receiving the scholarship. Each activity throughout the duration of the three days functioned as a way to help refine their passions with the end goal of giving a more refined passion pitch on the final day.  

As part of the registration for the workshop, each scholar had to identify what they believe are the biggest social issues plaguing their community. The top four issues gathered were: poverty, inequality, education, and environment. 

The scholars worked in groups on an impact project that combines their personal passion with the social issues they believe needs to be fixed. 

Scholars’ Reactions
The scholars were each left with tangible information they could use as each enter the new school year in August, and far beyond. 

For Michelle, one of the scholars whose passion is writing, acting and directing, she called the entire experience “incredibly empowering.”

“Being surrounded by so many passionate people fills something inside of you, and it makes you want to do more and believe in yourself more... knowing that you have an entire community behind you was just the best part of this all," she said. 

For Francesca, another scholar, this was her second year participating in the workshop. 

She highlighted how awesome it was to be able to meet and connect with people who have the same level of ambition and drive.

“I'm so grateful that the Taco Bell Foundation has provided us with these workshops to really allow us to really think intrinsically about where we are in terms of our journey and where we want to move forward with our passion,” she said.

The workshop will also take place in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and San Francisco throughout the duration of the summer. 

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