Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe congratulated Bryant High School graduate Kayla Henderson of[more] Benton on Tuesday, Aug. 14, for winning a Buick Achievers Scholarship of up to $25,000 that is renewable for up to four years. Also, 10 additional Arkansas students received a one-time $2,000 scholarship award.
Henderson is a student at the University of Arkansas where she is studying accounting. She plans to obtain her Master’s degree with the goal of opening her own firm that will assist automotive dealers with tax services and bookkeeping. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering in her community whether it’s feeding the homeless in Little Rock or cleaning up a local park.
As one of the largest scholarship programs in the country, the Buick Achievers program rewards students who excel both in the classroom and in the community, but lack the financial resources to pursue higher education. The program is distinguished by its renewable aspect — 100 nationwide students receive up to $25,000 a year, renewable for up to four years and one additional year for qualified five-year engineering programs.
Additionally, 1,000 students receive a one-time $2,000 award. By the end of 2012, the Buick Achievers Scholarship Program expects to have funded almost $13 million for deserving students.
Eligibility was expanded this year from first-time college-bound students to also include current undergraduates. With nearly fifty percent of college students dropping out before completing their education due to a lack of financial resources, this expansion is designed to help students cross the finish line.
“Through the Buick Achievers Scholarship Program, the GM Foundation is able to make a significant investment in the youth – and future – of America,” said Vivian Pickard, president, GM Foundation. “With student loan debt now totaling more than $1 trillion, this program will help foster the next generation of leaders, without the added financial hurdles many students face.”
Beebe offered his personal congratulations to Henderson during an award ceremony at the Everett Buick-GMC dealership in Bryant.
“Arkansas’s next big step in educational excellence is increasing our number of college graduates,” Beebe said. “To see students with the drive and motivation that Kayla possesses gain support from private initiatives like the Buick Achiever Scholarship only bolsters that effort. Supporting Arkansas college students will support our State for decades to come.”
With the future of manufacturing and related industries driven by new and innovative technologies, Buick and the GM Foundation specifically developed the Buick Achievers Scholarship Program to support students interested in science, technology, engineering, math, and other related fields of study. The program comes at a time when there are less than 1,500 math and science graduates for every 100,000 employed 25- to 34-year-olds in the United States, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
“More than half of our scholarship recipients are the first in their families to attend college,” said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president, Buick Marketing. “It is gratifying to know that, through the Buick Achievers Scholarship program, we are able to help make their dreams of earning a college degree a reality, while putting them on the road to rewarding careers.”
The selected students represent every state in the nation. Additionally, 514 of the students are the first in their family to attend college while 73 of the recipients come from military families.
The GM Foundation has provided more than $26 million in education-related initiatives since 2005.
For more information about the Buick Achiever Scholarship Program, to view the complete list of 2012 recipients, or to register for an e-mail notification when the next application window opens, please visit www.buickachievers.com.