RMHC/HACER National Scholarship Winners Announced

Four Hispanic high school seniors have been awarded $100,000 scholarships, including Hemet, CA student

By LatinoLA Contributor
Published on LatinoLA: August 8, 2017

RMHC/HACER National Scholarship Winners Announced

Though college degree attainment has increased for Hispanic students in the U.S. in the past 10 years, college affordability remains a barrier for many. To continue being part of the solution to close the education gap for Hispanic students in the U.S., McDonald's Hispanic owner/operators have granted a total of $4 million to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC0 to support RMHC/HACER National Scholarships since 2008.

The direct support for the RMHC/HACER National Scholarship is part of McDonald's commitment to education, helping students reach their full potential. This year, the four college-bound Hispanic high school seniors who will receive a $100,000 scholarship each are:

• Eric Torres, London EL High School in Corpus Christi, Texas, attending Rice University
• Isabel Michel (pictured), West Valley High School in Hemet, Calif., attending Stanford University
• Iván Vázquez, Capital Senior High School in Boise, Idaho, attending Harvard University
• John Zapata Mantilla, Gordon Central High School in Calhoun, Ga., attending University of Georgia

For scholarship recipient Iván Vázquez, RMHC, McDonald's and the RMHC/HACER National Scholarship represent opportunity. Vázquez's mom worked at McDonald's when she first arrived in the U.S. from Mexico. He recalls that McDonald's gave her an opportunity even though she didn't speak English.

Vázquez, who is also a former McDonald's restaurant crewmember, says, "I am incredibly grateful to continue being part of the McDonald's family."

Apart from its support of this independent RMHC Scholarship, McDonald's commitment to advancing education extends to its employees too. In 2015, McDonald's launched Archways to Opportunity, a program that gives eligible employees an opportunity to earn their high school diploma, graduate from college with upfront college tuition assistance, and learn English as a second language.

The RMHC/HACER Scholarship was founded in 1985 by McDonald's owner/operator and former educator Richard Castro after noticing increasing school dropout rates among Hispanic students due to financial difficulties.

To date, RMHC has awarded more than $32.9 million in local and national RMHC/HACER Scholarships to more than 18,400 students. RMHC/HACER, which stands for Hispanic American Commitment to Education Resources, counts on the support of RMHC Global, McDonald's Corporation, McDonald's Hispanic owner/operators and other donors for its local scholarships.

This year, McDonald's also provided the RMHC/HACER National Scholarship recipients the opportunity to attend the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Líderes Summit during the organization's four-day annual conference. The summit brought together hundreds of students from high school and college groups, NCLR Líderes educational programs and NCLR Affiliates to support the academic growth and leadership development of Latino youth ages 14 to 23.

"At RMHC, we are committed to providing resources to children and their families so they can achieve their dreams," said Sheila Musolino, president and CEO of RMHC Global. "This scholarship helps exemplary Hispanic students across the country build promising futures."

National scholarship recipients are selected based on academic achievement, community involvement and financial need. The rigorous selection process includes a completed application, a personal questionnaire and interviews with a distinguished panel of judges representing academia, business, media, RMHC and McDonald's.

College-bound high school seniors and their parents are encouraged to visit for additional college resources.

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