There's a new class of Live Más Scholars! Today, the Taco Bell Foundation announced more than $8 million in scholarships to break down barriers to education for 772 passionate students looking to ignite change in their communities and across the country.
With the help of Taco Bell's Chief Impact Officer, cultural icon Lil Nas X, the Taco Bell Foundation is excited to create a memorable experience for this next generation of leaders.
"I know firsthand what it's like to be a young person with a dream to break convention and change an industry," said Lil Nas X. "It's an honor to support these Live Más Scholars and I am eager to see their next chapters unfold."
To qualify for this year's scholarship program, these students, aged 16-26, submitted a two-minute video describing their passion, a positive change they want to make in the world, and how their education will help them achieve that goal.
Selected from a pool of 8,000 applicants, this year's scholarship recipients include nearly 200 fans of the brand, 150 Taco Bell® Restaurant team members, and 430 renewal winners (both fans and team members who applied to renew a Live Más Scholarship they received in the past). Scholarship awards range from $5,000-$25,000 per student. This year's scholars will also have the opportunity to attend the Live Más Scholarship Summer of Creativity, an in-person conference in San Diego, Calif. bringing together past and present Live Más Scholars to learn, engage and network personally and professionally.
"We are so excited to welcome a new, ambitious class of scholars," said Jennifer Bradbury, Executive Director of the Taco Bell Foundation. "These scholarships are about more than providing funds. It's about creating opportunity, driving passion and fueling the inspiration and ambition of young people across the country."
The Taco Bell Foundation is awarding $2.3 million to Taco Bell Restaurant team members and $5.75 million to other young people nationwide. To raise money for the Live Más Scholarship consumer fund, the Taco Bell Foundation partners with Taco Bell restaurants through the Round Up program. By asking Taco Bell customers to round up their order total to the nearest dollar, the Taco Bell Foundation has raised more than 60 million since 2019.
The Live Más Scholarship is geared toward students with bold ambitions who are community-focused and have their eye on the horizon. Check out the stories from two of the scholars who will be using these funds to reach new heights:
- Joel B.: Joel is a medical student at Washington State University and is the co-founder of Hugs for Ghana, a non-profit he founded in honor of his late grandmother who passed away from Malaria that is dedicated to bringing necessary school and medical supplies to children in African countries. As the first Black student at his medical school, he is dedicated to the advancement of fellow minority doctors and impacting communities of color, a cause that he is very vocal about on his "Medical Mythbuster" account, which is currently at nearly 500K followers.
- Jasmine B.: Jasmine is a senior at Manchester High School in North Chesterfield, Virginia, where she is a co-captain of her "Lancer Dancers" dance team and a big sister to two younger siblings. Falling in love with reading and writing from a young age, Jasmine pursued her interests further by becoming heavily involved in her high school's Mass Communications Center. In her journey to follow her passions in journalism and mass communications, she won third place statewide for a documentary that she co-directed and edited in the Virginia High School League competition. Currently working as a Taco Bell team member in Midlothian, Virginia, Jasmine plans to attend a four year university majoring in Mass Communications with a minor in Creative Writing to pursue her dream of becoming a broadcast journalist.