The Perseverance of These Youth Knows No Bounds

The Perseverance of These Youth Knows No Bounds

100 deserving high school graduates receive $1,000,000 in scholarships from Toyota to help them take their next steps to college

Since 2007, Toyota’s Making Life Easier (MLE) program has awarded $9.4 million in scholarships to more than 2,300 students affiliated with 65 select nonprofit partners. These scholarships, ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 per student over four years, will help them achieve their educational, professional, and financial aspirations.

Many having already faced extremely challenging circumstances, the resilience and tenacity of these young students proved stronger. They rose above, and often found community, hope, and guidance by connecting with their local Boys & Girls Club, Girl Scouts council, Junior Achievement, or other community partner. These partners often had sponsored programs by Toyota, and local Toyota team members volunteering to support.

Having gone this far, when perhaps hopeful for a traditional prom or graduation ceremony to celebrate their achievements with friends and family, a global pandemic had other plans: forcing virtual studies and social distancing.

“Yet they continued to thrive,” said Al Smith, group vice president, Toyota Social Innovation. “Their perseverance knows no bounds, and Toyota is proud to provide financial assistance as they take the next steps on their journey to college.”

In addition to the scholarship, recipients receive a backpack filled with items to help them navigate the road ahead: including a laptop, a power bank for charging mobile devices, and a $150 gift card.

Toyota is honored to celebrate with these students. It may not be a standard graduation this year, but these are no standard students. They all exemplify flexibility and an unwavering commitment to academics and to the community.

Al Smith congratulates these scholarship recipients:

Sebastian Arce Renteria

"Education has allowed me to further pursue my dreams and overcome any challenges because it has granted me a lifetime of knowledge, of experiences, and of people that have molded me into the extroverted, creative, and critical-thinker I am today. Along with these attributes, the mere fact of learning is something that I love: like learning about math- the language in which God explains the universe, all sciences- from biology, to chemistry, to astronomy, the study of life, and so forth. These rich and fertile experiences have cultivated in me the desire to continue growing, to spread my roots unto new grounds, to reach for the sunlight that will nourish me. Education is a major tool, with which I will obtain unconditional knowledge, become a well-learned individual, and reach my dream of becoming a veterinarian, surpassing any barrier coming my way, overcoming any obstacle, with the intelligence, diligence, and audacity I've developed throughout my academic years."

Brian Ariza

"Education is the source where all my knowledge comes from. With education, I am a sponge who absorbs all the valuable information that one day will allow me to use in order to make a change in the world. Also, having the opportunity to see different perspectives on the globe due to the fact that I was born in a second world country, I am well aware that education is as valuable as some of the most wanted currency. Therefore, that serves as my main motivation on pursuing my dreams regardless of the obstacles and challenges. I am confident that my dreams will bring not only happiness to my family but respect as well as we come from nothing, and that's why I will do anything to achieve my dreams!"

Skye Carbajal

"Just as knowledge is power, education is freedom. In the past, when my home life was turbulent, school was my stability. Not only did it provide me with a safe space and people I could rely on, but it also filled me with purpose and instilled in me the goal of college. When there were obstacles in my life, the idea of getting a higher education was like the bright light at the end of a tunnel. My dream was to get away and build something for myself. Now that I have overcome a lot of those obstacles and my life is stable, college isn’t just someplace I am running away to - it has become so much more. With a college education and experience, I can further define my fuzzy and vague goals into a career. With education, I can come back to my community with the knowledge and resources to help it. With education, and hopefully a resulting career, I can support my family and thank them for all they have given me. Education was my lifeline, and now it's my ally."

Vu Do

"Education is the foundation of all things created. It is the premise in which we draw creativity, form passions, and overcome obstacles in unimaginable ways. The greatest movements in human history occur when we are informed about our past and how to create a better future; and our greatest discoveries are built upon the footsteps of individuals who hold the power of knowledge. The pen might be mightier than the sword but it is education which allows us to write.

Education has allowed me the ability to manage and grow my finances through studies in the Academy of Finance. It has allowed me the ability to see social injustices and seek change through my studies of civil rights and history. It has taught me how to properly communicate with the individuals in a society, to function as a proper adult.

As my passion of complex markets and economies grows, I would like to continue into higher education and achieve a Bachelors in Finance and a Doctorate of Law. With the opportunity given to me by Toyota Financial I am able to transcribe my own path in this vastly expanding society. My education will allow me the ability to ascertain new discoveries and create a precedent in the fields of Finance and Law. The power of education will not only allow me to write, but to mark myself into the pages of human knowledge."

Mohammad Faroz

"Education will allow me to pursue my career in cybersecurity and become prepared for the obstacles ahead. It will guide me into the right path and help me be aware of the world around me. I will be able to make the right decisions in life and face the obstacles and challenges through the knowledge and experience that I have gained."

Noora Haghar

"To me, getting an education isn’t about obtaining a degree. It’s about gaining more knowledge about a topic that I am extremely interested in. At the same time, obtaining a degree is the whole point of getting an education. Getting a degree will allow me to work in the hospitality industry. This field interests me because I am passionate about working with people and delivering customer service. Being able to move up the ladder in the hospitality world is very important and having an education is crucial. Once I graduate from college, I will be able to move up and reach my goal of becoming a hotel manager."

Alma Rodriguez Guzman

"Education has been a value my family has always ingrained in me and had definitely impacted my life. My parents were unable to get the education they wanted due to lack of money and resources in their native land, Mexico. Fortunately, they have worked extremely hard to provide a quality education for my siblings and I, in hopes of becoming successful professional individuals. They have always stressed that money should not be a barrier that deprives me of pursuing higher education and my dreams. Thus, education serves as a gateway for opportunities that could provide a abundance of resources and knowledge. Education for me is a tool that opens doors and creates valuable networks. Education is essential to foster a close knitted community, to battle injustices, and to enchant prosperity and unity. My education has challenged me to become a more well-rounded person, a disciplined person, a persistent person but overall a person that reciprocates back what it given to me in order to help others achieve their dreams, while at the same time achieving mine."

Giselle Sarabia

"Growing up has never been easy for me. I have and still face the challenge of being a low income student. However, this scholarship has provided me an opportunity to attend Mount Saint Mary's University without having to worry about financial needs. I was always told "echale ganas mija." My dream has always been to become a physical therapist and I will take advantage of this scholarship and be positive multigenerational change, which means that I will set steps for my younger sibling to follow."

Tamia Thompson

"Education allows me to pursue my dreams and overcome obstacles because education offers a path toward my career goals that I would otherwise never be able to reach because of my family’s economic background."

Carmen Raya

"Education has been a value my family has always ingrained in me and had definitely impacted my life. My parents were unable to get the education they wanted due to lack of money and resources in their native land, Mexico. Fortunately, they have worked extremely hard to provide a quality education for my siblings and I, in hopes of becoming successful professional individuals. They have always stressed that money should not be a barrier that deprives me of pursuing higher education and my dreams. Thus, education serves as a gateway for opportunities that could provide a abundance of resources and knowledge. Education for me is a tool that opens doors and creates valuable networks. Education is essential to foster a close knitted community, to battle injustices, and to enchant prosperity and unity. My education has challenged me to become a more well-rounded person, a disciplined person, a persistent person but overall a person that reciprocates back what it given to me in order to help others achieve their dreams, while at the same time achieving mine."

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