Industry News | January 5, 2016

Taco Bell Foundation Funnels $1 Million into Scholarships

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Taco Bell knows there is no traditional path to success. Yet today there are still those traditional rules to what is valued. Take scholarships, which historically have been divided into two categories: academic and athletic. While Taco Bell is in favor of those, it asks, what about the other kids? The ones whose passion, creativity, and curiosity may just be what changes the world. The Live Más Scholarship is for that “other kid."

Who is it for?

This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for the next generation of leaders. In its inaugural phase, the Taco Bell Foundation will award a total of $1 million Live Más Scholarships for post-high school education to 220 teens and young adults (ages 16–24) with unique dreams and passions. Specific awards will vary and range from $2,500–$25,000 per individual to enable the dreamers, innovators, and creators of this generation to find their place in the world and realize their full potential.

Why this matters

Teens and young adults are the heart and soul of Taco Bell. They are Taco Bell customers, employees, and the next generation of leaders. Taco Bell believes they deserve the chance to dream big and to have someone invest in those dreams. Through the Live Más Scholarship, Taco Bell, and the Taco Bell Foundation are giving today’s youth a platform to be heard, unlocking their idea of what’s possible and shattering the conventions of scholarship silos.  

How will it work?

  • In 2016, there will be 220 scholarships awarded to deserving recipients, ranging from $2,500 to $25,000 each.
  • All awards will be directed by the Taco Bell Foundation to Scholarship America, which will work with selected candidates and direct funds to their higher educational institute upon enrollment.
  • Scholarship awards must be utilized at an accredited post-high school/post-secondary educational programs (including accredited two- and four-year college, universities, vocational-technical, and trade schools) for tuition, required fees, books, and course-specific supplies.
  • The Live Más Scholarship, co-created and developed by agency partners, O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul/Chicago, and Bow & Arrow Productions/LA, is funded by the Taco Bell Foundation with support from Taco Bell Corp. and administered in partnership with Get Schooled.

How to apply?

Applicants are asked to create and submit a video (two minutes or less in length) that tells the story of their life’s passion. They will not be evaluated on how well the video is made, but on how they show their talents and explain why they should be considered for a Live Más Scholarship. All videos must be submitted to

In order to apply, individuals must be between 16 and 24 years of age, and a legal resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia.

Important Dates

  • Phase I submissions are due no later than January 31, 2016.
  • Anthem spots calling for participation will be aired during the NCAA College Football Bowl Championship Series starting on December 31, 2015, and will run during both semi-final games and the championship game on January 11, 2016.
  • The next phase of applications opens on March 7, 2016.

Why Education?

As a brand that gives many young Americans their very first job, no issue is more important to Taco Bell than helping America’s youth succeed. That’s why in 1992 the Taco Bell Foundation was founded with a focus to ignite the potential within teens and young adults, starting with earning their high school diploma.

Today, Taco Bell Foundation is committed to empowering youth to reach their full potential, starting with a high school diploma and beyond. The Foundation reaches more than 1 million teens and young adults a year in more than 6,000 communities nationwide. Since its founding, the Foundation has granted more than $75 million in scholarships and grants that provide access to mentorships (online and in communities), career readiness and access to tools and resources to help them graduate.

Together with Taco Bell Foundation, franchisees, customers, and partners, Taco Bell continues to inspire and empower its team members and young adults through the following programs.

  • GED Program: Funds scholarships for team members to earn high school diploma equivalents, including preparation and testing.
  • Career Online High School Scholarship Program: Provides the opportunity for team members to earn an accredited high school diploma and career certificate through Career Online High School.
  • Excelsior College Program: Flexible online degree options at a 40 percent discount for a fully accredited associate, bachelor, or graduate degree for team members and their immediate families, and programs where team members can earn nearly 50 percent of the credits needed to earn a college degree just by working at Taco Bell.
  • Graduate for Más: Encourages teens to make the promise to graduate high school and provides access to tools, resources, scholarships, and educational support, as well as Taco Bell employment opportunities, through a partnership with Get Schooled.
  • Team Member Scholarships/Programs: Since 2002, Taco Bell has provided more than $1.4 million in educational scholarships to support team members who want to enroll in higher education. As part of the Live Más Scholarship, there will be a separate fund for educational scholarships that all team members (regardless of age) can apply beginning in spring 2016.
News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.

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