Aug. 9, 2012 - Torrance, Calif. – Toyota Financial Services (TFS) today announced the expansion of its Making Life Easier scholarship program to $1 million for 2013, which will provide scholarships to underserved students through Boys & Girls Clubs of America as well as other TFS non-profit partners including North High School, All Peoples Community Center, Community’s Child, 1736 Family Crisis Center, and Los Angeles Team Mentoring.
The announcement took place at a Community Day event held on the Toyota Financial Services main campus where more than 350 students and their families, Toyota associates and special guests gathered to celebrate the students’ academic achievement.
Since 2007 Toyota Financial Services has provided scholarships to deserving students from local non-profit partners including students from the East Los Angeles Boys & Girls Clubs who have demonstrated academic achievement and served as role models by volunteering in their community. As part of TFS’ national giving strategy, the Making Life Easier scholarships program allows economically disadvantaged youth to pursue their higher education goals by providing up to $20,000 for university, college, trade or vocational school tuition and fees. To date, TFS has provided $1.4 million in scholarships to nearly 400 local Boys & Girls Club students and more than $2.3 million in direct funding to the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Los Angeles and $6.4 million to Boys & Girls Clubs of America and other Clubs across the country to support after-school programs and family economic development programs.
Earlier this year, Toyota partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to announce the establishment of Diplomas to Degrees - or D2D, an intensive college readiness program funded by an initial $1.5 million grant from Toyota over three years to help provide tools, resources and support to Boys & Girls Club teens to better prepare them to move from high school to college graduates. This year, nine Boys & Girls Clubs piloting the D2D program participated in the Making Life Easier scholarship program and as a result TFS is awarding $85,000 in scholarships to D2D students from across the country.
“Toyota Financial Services is building on six years of success and expanding our Making Life Easier scholarship program will enable us to reach thousands of kids on a national level,” said George Borst, President and CEO of Toyota Financial Services. “We are committed to helping improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work, and through our partnerships with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and other non-profits we are able to engage with really inspirational and courageous students and become a part of their lives.”
Among the students honored at the Community Day event, local Boys & Girls Clubs of East LA student Ivonne Gonzalez who received a $20,000 scholarship shared her story how at a young age she overcame life challenges and financial difficulties, while managing to keep good grades and serve as positive role model within her community. Also recognized was Brian Miller from San Antonio, Texas who was one of the Making Life Easier Scholars through the Diplomas to Degrees Program for 2012.
“We are so proud and thrilled to congratulate the students honored here today,” said Judith J. Pickens, Senior VP of Program & Youth Development Services, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “The hard work of these Club members and the support they receive through our programs and our ongoing partnership with Toyota helps to build stronger communities by creating hope and opportunity for underserved young people here and across the country.”
The Community Day event featured special guests from Boys & Girls Clubs of America including former L.A. Laker and retired NBA star, philanthropist, and Boys & Girls Club alum AC Green, who congratulated the students on their achievements.
In addition, TFS associates held their annual “Back to School Drive” where they support deserving local youth by donating backpacks, school supplies, and other necessities to start the school year off right. Associates “adopt” a student and help set them up for success this school year by purchasing school supplies and then assist stuffing the backpacks. This year’s annual Back to School Drive yielded more than 700 backpacks for underserved students.
For more information on any of Toyota Financial student programs, please visit www.toyotafinancial.com