Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas and Texas A&M University-San Antonio partnered Jan. 26 to announce two new, full-ride scholarships for men of color. Deadlines loom, so students who meet the qualifications are encouraged to apply.
A&M-San Antonio and Toyota have one goal in mind: progressing education while providing resources and opportunities for deserving students. The two will coordinate with organizations San Antonio Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission and My Brother’s Keeper (MBK).
To meet eligibility requirements for the MLK, Jr. scholarship, students must have graduated from a Bexar County high school, resided in Bexar County, been a U.S. Citizen for a year, and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or equivalent.
On par with The MLK, Jr. Commission’s goal, this scholarship helps retain and improve education for young students of color. Annually, the commission gives thousands of dollars of scholarships. In 2015, the Dream Scholar Program was introduced as a call-to-action for local colleges and universities to individually fund one full scholarship for minority students. A&M-San Antonio responded and donated.
MLK, Jr. Scholarship application is available here. Application deadline is 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26. For more information, contact Gloria-Villela-Santillian, MLK Staff Liaison at MLK@sanantonio.gov.
The MBK scholarship will be awarded to a male pursuing a teaching career in his community. To earn this scholarship, the recipient must be a graduate of St. Philip’s College with an education background and show a desire to teach. Interested applicants can find more information at the A&M-San Antonio scholarship page.
In September 2014, President Obama created MBK as a community challenge to encourage city leaders to integrate a positive life-impacting strategy for all males of color to reach their full potential, regardless of life’s circumstances. Championed by Mayor Ivy Taylor, the initiative has made great progress by providing opportunities to local males.
By providing the scholarships, Toyota and A&M-San Antonio’s intent is to bring awareness to an underserved side of San Antonio. The goal is to encourage businesses and philanthropists help encourage education by offering other opportunities.
“Toyota and the 6,100 employees on our campus desire to create opportunities to enrich the lives of the underserved members of the communities where we live and operate,” Mario Lozoya, director of government relations for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas, said in an email. “As we study the metric of mentors and role models, we feel it is important for our young men of color to have role models in the classroom. We hope to develop a process which can later grow in an effort to bridge this gap.”
A&M-San Antonio President Teniente-Matson described the partnership as monumental and tremendous opportunity for any student who wishes to contribute back to their community.
“This is a great opportunity for any male to have a wondrous educational experience at A&M,” Matson said. “This is a chance to go to school and graduate with no debt.”
According to data from MBK and the MLK, Jr. Commission, young men of color are severely lacking role models and mentors at both home and school, which affects their chances of academic progress. By providing these scholarships, the organizations hope to fill a gap that has been lacking.
“I encourage as many applicants to apply for these scholarships, as it opens the doors to show there is a need,” Matson said. “It opens doors for philanthropists to see the impact we are making, which can create more opportunities for more scholarships.”
Alan E. Warrick, II., District 2 Councilman and Honorary Commission Chair, MLK, Jr. agrees with Matson, and praised the university for stepping up to the challenge to serve the South Side.
“We need to help students, parents, and our community to establish a mindset that going to college is an automatic part of their educational development. Furthermore, I would like to thank TAMUSA for showing great leadership in being one of the first institutions to stand out front and say, “Yes! We are in!” Warrick stated. “I hope that by TAMUSA, Toyota, and other universities joining this initiative, it will cause a huge movement of other companies to collaborate in moving education forward in San Antonio.”