The first four-year recipients to benefit from the Buick Achievers Scholarship Program are receiving their degrees this year as the General Motors Foundation today announced nearly $1.2 million in new scholarships of up to $25,000 a year for 50 students to pursue degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.
Students can be selected for the scholarship after high school graduation or during any year of college study. Of the new class of recipients, 62 percent are first-generation college students and 68 percent come from diverse backgrounds. Nearly one in four have ties to the military, having served themselves or as dependents of a current or former service member, and ten out of the 50 selected are Latino. They are: Sandra Alarcon, Daniel Savala, Michelle Diaz, Sergio Banuelos, Marilu Duque, Christina Flores, Henry Gomez, Kathy Tangarife, Cristian Munoz, and Cash Forster.
To celebrate the combined achievements of the inaugural graduating class of Buick Achievers with the announcement of 2015 recipients, Diego Gonzalez, a Buick Achiever and 2015 San Diego State University graduate, teamed up with Buick last month to surprise high school senior Stewart Martin of Winston-Salem, N.C., with a $25,000 scholarship.
“Growing up, I loved racing. My dad told me about NASCAR engineers – and I chose that career path because it follows my dreams and it’s a way to connect with my father,” said Martin, whose father passed away when Stewart was a young child. “I’m so thankful for this scholarship. It brings me one step closer to following my dream.”
Martin plans to major in mechanical engineering at UNC Charlotte.
“The future of our country lies in technology and innovation and depends on a strong pipeline of highly skilled talent,” said GM Foundation Chairman Bob Ferguson. “Our scholarship program is helping bridge the gap between a skilled workforce and positions that companies are looking to fill.”
Since its inception in 2011, the Buick Achievers Scholarship Program has awarded more than $28 million in scholarships to more than 3,400 high school and undergraduate students nationwide. The scholarships are renewable for up to four years, with one additional year for students entering a qualified five-year engineering program.
“The Buick Achievers Scholarship Program has become one of the most impactful in the county, demonstrating our commitment to those students who excel while also giving back to their community,” said Duncan Aldred, U.S. vice president of Buick. “This graduating class serves as a testament to what this scholarship has done for so many students – put a college degree in hand, and set them on their way to further education or the start of their careers.”
Buick Achievers gives special consideration to females, minorities, first-generation college students, military veterans and military dependents.
General Motors and the GM Foundation have a long history of investing in education initiatives, investing more than $70 million since 2007. For example:
- The GM Foundation provides approximately $3 million annually to key university partners and professional organizations to advance STEM curricula.
- Last month, GM and the GM Foundation gifted $4 million to Kettering University to create dynamic automotive lab facilities that will provide a unique education for future engineers, scientists and industry leaders.
Click here for more information about the Buick Achievers Scholarship Program, to view the complete list of 2015 recipients, or to register for an e-mail notification when the next application window opens.