On Tuesday, the Taco Bell Foundation opened its sixth annual Live Más Scholarship application period with more than $7.5 million in scholarships available for passionate young students, $2 million of which is for Taco Bell team members. This year's award helps the Taco Bell Foundation meet its commitment to give out $21 million in total scholarships by 2021.
"The pandemic has caused financial strain for families around the country, yet young people's passions haven't gone away," says Jennifer Bradbury, Interim Executive Director of the Taco Bell Foundation. "We are hopeful that this year's scholarships will provide many creative, passionate fans and Taco Bell team members opportunities they may not have otherwise had. We are also proud to continue expanding our partnerships and resources to ignite change and create a better future for our scholars as they make a positive impact in their communities and beyond."
Starting this year, the scholarship has expanded the eligible age range—now welcoming students ages 16-26 to apply. All the application requires is a two-minute video describing your passion, a positive change you want to make in the world and how your education will help you achieve that goal. The scholarship does not require students to submit grades, essays or test scores and the funds are applicable to multiple education paths, including community colleges and trade schools. The application period will close on January 20, 2021 and winners will be announced in May 2021. The awards will be up to $25,000 per student. The Taco Bell Foundation will award $2 million to Taco Bell team members including new and renewal scholarships (additional funds available for those who have won in the past), and $5.5 million to new and renewal scholarships for young people nationwide. The Taco Bell Foundation has raised more than $8 million through its annual fundraiser via the Round Up program since late September.
The Taco Bell Foundation partners with like-minded organizations to offer support to its community of scholars beyond just financial assistance. This year, MENTOR and the Taco Bell Foundation collaborated on a new publication to help create strong peer mentoring programs. Additionally, the College Football Playoff Foundation awarded $1,000 grants to 50 Live Más Scholars who are passionate about pursuing a career in education. Starting next month, the Taco Bell Foundation will team up with Junior Achievement to sponsor their web series "The Arena", which will feature a Live Más Scholarship recipient in one of the upcoming webisodes.
The Taco Bell Foundation creates a community for its scholars to network and learn from each other. This summer, nearly 750 youth from across the country connected online for the Live Más Scholarship Summer of Inspiration featuring panel discussions and workshops focused on resilience, authenticity and pursuing your passion.
The Live Más Scholarship is geared toward students who are community-focused, driven by purpose and maybe even a little rebellious sometimes. Check out some of the scholars who embody this spirit:
Artis T.—Passionate about solving global food insecurity, Artis has created a high school curriculum on food justice and taught Atlanta students about chronic hunger within communities of color.
Danielle M.—At age 17, Danielle has already launched her own small business which encourages kids and teens to cook, starred on and won an episode of Chopped Junior and was featured in the September 2019 issue of Food Network Magazine.
Arin G.—Three-time Live Más Scholar, Arin has pursued her passion of art through costume design, special effects makeup and painting.
Victoria L.—After working at her local Taco Bell for just 15 months, team member Victoria was surprised with a $10,000 Live Más Scholarship to pursue her passion of environmental studies.