As part of its commitment to enable and inspire teens to achieve más, the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens will award $60,000 in educational scholarships to four teens who were selected to participate in the 12th Annual Taco Bell Skills Challenge during State Farm All-Star Saturday Night on Saturday, February 15.
“Throughout our 22-year history, the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens has provided opportunities like the Taco Bell Skills Challenge to give teens the resources they need to reach their full potential,” says Brian Niccol, Taco Bell’s president and chairman of the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens. “The remarkable teens chosen to participate in this year’s Challenge have powered through obstacles, and we know that if we just give them the opportunity to be successful through this scholarship, they will go on to do great things.”
The teens, who have shown outstanding determination to stay in school despite personal obstacles, will receive an experience of a lifetime with a behind-the-scenes career tour of NBA All-Star and exclusive opportunity to meet and take a photo with NBA players. They will be awarded scholarships ranging from $10,000 to $30,000.
“My mom is a single parent raising five children,” says all-Star teen Raeshawn Henderson. “Winning this scholarship will fuel my dream of becoming a nurse and helping people in need.”
“My family struggled with healthcare bills, now my mom works two jobs,” says participating teen Deja Smith. “This scholarship would help me to achieve my dreams of attending college and becoming an orthodontist.”
As a partner of teen-serving organizations across the U.S., the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens will also donate a total of $60,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of America locations nationwide, presented in the names of the NBA players who compete in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge.
Representing the Eastern Conference are DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, and rookies Michael Carter-Williams of the Philadelphia 76ers and Victor Oladipo of the Orlando Magic.
Joining reigning champion Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers on one Western Conference team is Trey Burke of the Utah Jazz, while Reggie Jackson of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns make up the other team.
Participating all-star teen Devin Starks expressed his excitement to participate in the Skills Challenge and determination to make a difference. “I am the product of a single family home with my mom,” he says. “My challenge every day is to watch my mother work tirelessly to provide for me while I’m in school. This will change!”
“I am a child from a single family home,” says all-star teen Anna-Maria Spears. “My challenge is to one day find the job where I can help my mom pay off the bills that was incurred for me.”
The Taco Bell Skills Challenge will take place at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. A press conference with the winning team will be held at the arena after the event. State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will be exclusively televised on TNT at 8 p.m. EST on Saturday, February 15. The event also will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio and will collectively reach fans in 215 countries and territories in more than 47 languages.