The Taco Bell Foundation announced the opening of its ninth annual Live Más Scholarship (LMS) application, offering up to $10 million to enable the next generation of leaders to pursue their passion and ignite change in their community. This year’s award is available for both Taco Bell customers and team members and will provide funds and resources needed to fuel bold ambitions. Passionate students pursuing their dreams can share their 2-minute submission for a chance to be awarded up to $25,000 in funding.
“This program started as a way to support students whose dreams had no bounds, and it has since transformed into something far beyond your run-of-the-mill scholarship,” says Jennifer Bradbury, Executive Director of the Taco Bell Foundation. “There is nothing more fulfilling than watching scholars blow us away year after year with their creativity and drive, and I can’t wait to see what this next class of scholars has in store.”
Nine years, 2,731 scholars and $39 million later, the Live Más Scholarship is a program unlike any other. This annual scholarship program is designed for students who are passionate about creating a better future and making a positive impact in society. The Live Más Scholarship is passion-based, not achievement-based, and therefore does not require students to submit grades, essays, or test scores. The funds are applicable to multiple education paths, including community colleges and trade schools, and support all interests including creative arts, social justice, medicine, education, entrepreneurship – you name it.
Students ages 16 to 26 are encouraged to apply using the non-traditional video application format. The application consists simply of a two-minute video where applicants can express their passion, articulate the positive impact they aspire to create in the world and describe how education will pave the path to achieve that goal.
This program is more than just a check with your name on it – winners will join a community of passionate changemakers and gain access to career development opportunities, professional connections, and a nationwide mentorship network. Last year, Kimberly Uehisa, a student passionate about medicine and health education, was awarded the Live Más Scholarship and went on to become even more embedded in the Taco Bell Foundation community as she was selected as finalist for the Taco Bell Foundation’s Ambition Accelerator program. Individuals like Kimberly see the Live Más Scholarship as a jumping off point – it’s only the beginning of their journey as a social change trailblazer.
The application period opens today, November 1, 2023, and will close on January 3, 2024. Recipients will be announced in April 2024. The award amounts are $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000 per student. Of these awards, the Taco Bell Foundation will allot approximately $3 million for Taco Bell team members who have been a part of the Taco Bell family for at least 30 continuous days.
The Taco Bell Foundation partners with Taco Bell restaurants across the country to raise money through the Round Up program, where customers can choose to round up their order total to the nearest dollar to support Taco Bell Foundation year-round. Round Up funds help support Live Más Scholarships for consumers, while donations from Taco Bell franchise owners and Taco Bell Corp. support Live Más Scholarships for Taco Bell team members.
If you are interested in a fun way to support the scholars, Taco Bell is bringing back its nostalgic Coin Drop game in the Taco Bell app after its introduction earlier this year, starting on Giving Tuesday and running until December 11. A digital “coin” will appear when customers opt to Round Up their total to the nearest dollar in the Taco Bell app while ordering (or visit ta.co/coindropamoe to request a coin without making a purchase or rounding up). Raising an impressive $182,000 for the Taco Bell Foundation and the Live Más Scholarship program during its introductory run, Taco Bell Rewards Members can join in on the Coin Drop excitement on November 28 for a chance to win the game and snag Cinnamon Twists, a Crunchy Taco, or a Bean Burrito while doing their part for a good cause.