McDonald’s Provides Additional Resources To Help 2020 HACER® National Scholarship Winners Succeed in Virtual Learning Environment During COVID-19 Pandemic

August 18, 2020

student with  backpack

30 winners to receive “tech backpacks” along with scholarship

 to prepare them for school this fall

Today, McDonald’s is proud to announce it will be taking additional action to support the winners of the 2020 HACER® National Scholarship as they continue their educational pursuits in today’s environment. Due to the pandemic, students are not only facing more financial stress, but uncertainty around how they will attend school due to social distancing measures. In order to further assist this year’s HACER® National Scholarship winners navigate the pandemic’s impact on education, McDonald’s is equipping each of them with a “tech backpack” that includes a laptop, wireless mouse, and headphones – some of the tools needed to succeed in a virtual learning environment.

While the cost of education is usually the largest barrier for Hispanic students pursuing college degrees, the pandemic has also exposed a technology access gap that has placed low-income, Hispanic students at a disadvantage. A McKinsey survey conducted in April 2020 found only 56 percent of students from low-income households report having reliable internet access and just 45 percent report their home environment could support remote learning. As educational institutions have accelerated the shift to remote learning and online classes, many Hispanic students lack access to digital devices and internet connectivity at home, further widening educational disparities.

“We understand that in addition to the financial stress of higher education costs, students today are facing shifts to remote learning, limited access to counselors due to school closures, changes in standardized-testing, and a number of other factors that add to an already stressful college application process,” said Santiago Negre, HACER® scholarship committee judge and head of McDonald’s National Hispanic Consumer Market Committee. “We are proud to support Hispanic youth in fulfilling their dreams of obtaining a higher education by providing them with scholarships and some of the essential tools they need to succeed in an evolving virtual education environment.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has also disproportionately affected Hispanics financially as almost 50 percent have lost their job or been furloughed. With this added financial strain for Hispanic families and increased need for virtual learning resources, the students who were already the most vulnerable to falling behind are facing even more hurdles to find a clear path to higher education.

Created to provide educational opportunities for Hispanic students and motivate them to pursue higher education, the McDonald’s HACER® National Scholarship has awarded more than $31.5 million in scholarships, to-date, and helped 17,060 students since its founding in 1985. The McDonald’s HACER® National Scholarship is one of the largest programs committed to college scholarships and resources for Hispanics, awarding a total of $500,000 to 30 outstanding Hispanic high school seniors annually.

The HACER scholarship winners are selected based on their academic achievement, community involvement, and financial need. The rigorous selection process includes a completed application, a personal questionnaire and interviews with a distinguished panel of judges representing academia, business, media, and McDonald’s.

The McDonald’s HACER® National Scholarship is just one of many company initiatives created to educate the next generation of youth. This includes the Black & Positively Golden Scholarships for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and the McDonald’s/APIA Scholarship program for Asian and Pacific-Islander American students. The Archways to Opportunity program for crew gives eligible employees at participating U.S. restaurants the ability to earn a high school diploma, receive upfront college tuition assistance, access free education/career advising services and learn English as a second language.

Hispanic college-bound high school seniors and their parents are encouraged to visit for additional college resources in English and Spanish and for details on how to apply for the McDonald’s HACER® National Scholarship. The scholarship application period opens on October 5, 2020 and runs through February 5, 2021.

McDonald’s remains committed to investing in the education of Hispanic youth and helping provide resources to help them achieve their goals in this environment and beyond. Following, is the list of 2020 HACER® National Scholarship recipients. Join us in celebrating this year’s winners:

  1. Aisha Borjas from Edinburgh, TX, attending Texas State University-San Marcos
  2. Andrea Martinez from Newark, TX, attending Texas Woman's University
  3. Andres Rovalo Herrera from Bainbridge Island, WA, attending Western Washington University
  4. Brian Garcia Sandoval from Kansas City, KS, attending Kansas State University
  5. Cameron Cunningham from Brookshire, TX, attending Texas A&M University
  6. Carla Cano from Dallas, TX, attending University of Dallas
  7. Connor Tapia from Tea, SD, attending Dakota Wesleyan University
  8. Donna Avina from Los Angeles, CA, attending California State University-Los Angeles
  9. Emily Causey from New Athens, IL, attending Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  10. Erick Soto from Fayetteville, AR, attending University of Central Arkansas
  11. Fabiana Perez from Houston, TX, attending Syracuse University
  12. Gabriella Melo from Miami, FL, attending Nova Southeastern University
  13. Ivan Villanueva from Hayward, CA, attending Boston University
  14. Jonathan Gunthrope from New Rochelle, NY, attending Howard University
  15. Jorge Servin from Dallas, TX, attending University of Texas at Austin
  16. Karime Melendez from Dallas, TX, attending New York University
  17. Madison Fonseca from Orland, CA, attending William Jessup University
  18. Matthew Lawson from Rego Park, NY, attending Pennsylvania State University
  19. Natalia Torres from Miami, FL, attending New York Institute of Technology
  20. >Natalie Ortiz from Duncanville, TX, attending Texas A&M University
  21. Nia Ruiz from Tampa, FL, attending Florida Atlantic University
  22. Nicole Pereira from Grayson, GA, attending Tulane University of Louisiana
  23. Rachel Gomez from Mishawaka, IN, attending Holy Cross College
  24. Sergio Orozco from Del Valle, TX, attending University of Texas at San Antonio
  25. Sophia Pieschacon from Sunrise, FL, attending University of Florida
  26. Stephanie Martinez from Pasadena, TX, attending Lamar University
  27. Valeria Soto from New York City, NY, attending Saint Leo University
  28. Viviana Vaca-Gonzalez from Atlanta, GA, attending Brenau University
  29. Vladimir Rosales from Santa Maria, CA, attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  30. Yoselin Herrera Uribe from Las Vegas, NV, attending University of Nevada-Las Vegas

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