Taco Bell offers scholarship for video generation

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Taco Bell offers scholarship for video generation

By Dan Berthiaume - 11/07/2019

A fast-food giant wants to see why applicants to its scholarship program deserve an award.

Through its Taco Bell Foundation public charity, Taco Bell will award more than $6 million to students through the fifth annual round of Live Mas Scholarships. 

This year's scholarship awards will be nearly $2 million more than were granted in 2018, and will bring the Taco Bell Foundation to $17 million in total awarded scholarships, on schedule to meet its commitment of awarding $21 million by 2021. 

The Taco Bell Foundation will choose winners whose passion and pioneering spirit influence and inspire their peers. This year's scholarships for first-time recipients will range from $5,000-$25,000 per student, totaling more than $6 million. Scholarships open to both Taco Bell employees and customers ages 16-24 nationwide. Past winners can also apply to renew their scholarships. 

To apply, students must submit a two-minute video describing their passion and how they will use it to make a difference. There will be no review of grades, essays, or test scores. The application will close on Jan. 23, 2020, with winners announced in spring 2020. 

To help fund the Live Más Scholarship, the Taco Bell Foundation accepts donations year-round through Round Up, where customers can “round up” their order total to the nearest dollar at the front-counter and kiosk. From Oct. 17-31, 2019, all customers who rounded up their total in a participating Taco Bell restaurant were given a coupon for a free crunchy taco or medium drink. To date, Round Up has raised more than $17 million for youth education since its launch in January 2019. 

Winners of the scholarship are also given access to a network of peers and mentors to build connections and develop personal and professional skills. During summer 2019, the Taco Bell Foundation gathered 200 scholars at Live Más Scholarship Workshops in San Francisco, Irvine, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia to help students explore how to follow their passion in the professional world and how to use it to serve others. The Taco Bell Foundation also collaborates with non-profit partners in areas such as mentoring and financial literacy.

"With student debt in America reaching an all-time high, the Taco Bell Foundation is proud to be part of the solution, fulfilling a growing need for accessible scholarship opportunities," said Tina Nguyen, executive director of the Taco Bell Foundation. "In the last round, we received an unprecedented 13,000 applications to our scholarship, which demonstrates the tremendous amount of students who will likely seek financial assistance from our program this year as well."