Toyota Awards $1.12 Million in Scholarships to 100 High School Seniors
Winners at top of class in both academics and community service
LOUISVILLE, Ky., May 13 -- Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., (TMS) rewarded 100 high school seniors with $1.12 million in college scholarships for their commitment to education and community service at an awards banquet tonight.
The winners, who make up the ninth class of Toyota Community Scholars, were chosen from a pool of nearly 10,000 students nationwide nominated by their schools. To be eligible, students must be proven leaders both in the classroom and in their communities.
Based on the countless service projects conducted by the 2005 class, it is clear these 100 students view community service not as an obligation, but a way of life. As one Scholar, Lucia Crenshaw of Memphis, Tenn., put it: "I have found that I am happiest when I am helping others. Although I don't know where I am going or exactly what I am going to do, I do know my community- service involvement will carry on throughout my life."
For the 2005 class, their dreams of making a difference became reality through programs ranging from building "asthma-friendly" rooms for children in homeless shelters, to collecting over 12,500 care-package items for military troops, to raising over $150,000 for cancer-stricken children.
"These students reflect everything that is good about America. Their dedication both to academics and community service is an inspiration to all of us," said Michael Rouse, TMS corporate manager of philanthropy and community affairs. "We are proud to honor and salute 100 of the future leaders of this country."
The scholarships are valued at $20,000 or $10,000 each, over four years, for study at a four-year college or university starting in the fall of 2005. Since the Toyota Community Scholars program began in 1997, TMS has awarded over $10 million in scholarships to 900 students across the U.S.
Theodoros Milonopoulos, a Toyota Community Scholar residing in Los Angeles, is a prime example of the dedication to community service exhibited by this year's class. Through his leadership and effort in the area of gun control, the City of Los Angeles banned .50 caliber sniper rifles, plus reauthorized the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. Also, this Scholar - along with the Los Angeles Police Department - organized a rally where 2,000 crime guns were melted down.
Consequently, Milonopoulos, like many of the Scholars, found community service to be the roadmap to what he wants to do in the future. "I plan to become a lawyer after studying constitutional law. It is my dream to serve in Congress so that I can continue to be the voice for our nation's youth."
The Toyota Community Scholars program is administered by Educational Testing Services in Princeton, N.J. The 12 national winners ($20,000 each) and 88 regional winners ($10,000 each) were selected by a panel of college and university admissions officials from across the U.S.
The scholarship winners were guests of honor tonight at an awards banquet in Louisville that was attended by education, community, business and government leaders. Actor/writer/community activist George Takei - who portrayed Mr. Sulu in the television show Star Trek - was the featured speaker.
The two-and-a-half-day program included a tour of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc., in Georgetown, which builds the Camry, Avalon and Solara vehicles. In addition, the Scholars cruised the Ohio River on the Belle of Louisville (a historic paddle wheeler), as well as participated in a "ride and drive" that put them behind the wheel of three Toyota vehicles: the Scion xA, xB, and tC.
Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. is the marketing, sales, distribution and customer service arm of Toyota, Lexus and Scion in the United States, marketing products and services through a network of 1,415 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealers in 49 states. Established in 1957, TMS and its subsidiaries also are involved in distribution logistics, motor sports, R&D and general aviation. The company's main website is www.toyota.com .****************************************************************************** 2005 TOYOTA COMMUNITY SCHOLARS CITY HIGH SCHOOL ALABAMA Edgar Brown Selma Selma High School ALASKA Poan Yang Whittier Whittier Community School ARIZONA Andrea Ipjian Paradise Valley Arcadia High School Lindsey Keeler Mesa Red Mountain High School ARKANSAS Kristian Henderson Little Rock Little Rock Central High School Emily Trammell Valley Springs Valley Springs High School CALIFORNIA Jasmine Ahdout Santa Monica Santa Monica High School Melissa Caridad Malibu Malibu High School Sara Choi Rohnert Park Montgomery High School Jaleisha Jackson San Diego Gary & Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High School Theodoros Milonopoulos * Studio City Campbell Hall Chi Nguyen San Ramon California High School Yelena Shuster San Francisco Hebrew Academy (Ryan) Xinyue Tong * Stockton Tokay High School COLORADO Corey Longhurst Brighton Weld Central Junior/Senior High School CONNECTICUT Lauren Galinsky Madison Daniel Hand High School Corey Prachniak Pawcatuck Stonington High School DELAWARE Gregory Sweeney Wilmington Charter School of Wilmington DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Michelle Jackson Washington National Cathedral School FLORIDA David Bejar Miami Coral Reef Senior High School Charles Bentley Naples Saint John Neumann High School Harley Gould * Aventura Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School Shannon Knee Miami Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School Danielle Kramer Cooper City David Posnack Hebrew Day School Alexandra Murphy Holmes Beach Manatee High School GEORGIA Deia Chappell Winston Douglas County High School Adam Johnson Hamilton Harris County High School GUAM Zyra Cortez Dededo Academy of Our Lady of Guam ILLINOIS Emily Matthews Chicago Northside College Preparatory High School INDIANA Lana Knox Jamestown Western Boone Junior-Senior High School Elizabeth Korb Evansville Signature School Carrie Thomas * Plainfield Plainfield High School IOWA Rachael Cox Ames Ames High School Megan Srinivas * Fort Dodge Fort Dodge Senior High School KANSAS Vincent Cheng Wichita Wichita High School East Kaitlin Smith Wichita Wichita High School Southeast KENTUCKY Mayra Angel Danville Danville High School Mary Birdwhistell Lawrenceburg Anderson County High School Carson Smith Paducah Paducah Tilghman High School LOUISIANA David Biery New Orleans New Orleans Center for Science & Math Justin Dean Shreveport Captain Shreve High School Emily Mourad * Minden Glenbrook School MAINE Lindsey Kaley Manchester Maranacook Community School MARYLAND Seth Manoff Ellicott City Centennial High School Jonathan McCoy Columbia Long Reach High School Jason Pate Derwood Colonel Zadok Magruder High School MASSACHUSETTS Jenna Antonino DiMare * Amherst Amherst Regional High School MICHIGAN Carolyn Billetdeaux Manchester Manchester High School Courtney Yoder Prudenville Houghton Lake High School MINNESOTA Amanda Rubin Edina Edina High School Tapan Sharma Eden Prairie Eden Prairie High School Aparna Suri Saint Paul Harding High School MISSISSIPPI Thomas Allin Jackson Saint Andrews Episcopal School Neal Arp Yazoo City Yazoo City High School MISSOURI Laura Carter Strafford Strafford High School Jacob Colbert Frankford Bowling Green High School NEBRASKA Edgar Lopez Ramirez Omaha William Jennings Bryan High School Katherine Warner Papillion Bellevue West High School NEVADA Marie-Angela Cheng Henderson Ed W. Clark High School NEW HAMPSHIRE Caitlin Ducharme Wilton Wilton-Lyndborough Cooperative Jr./Sr. High School NEW JERSEY Michael Monagle * Clark Arthur L. Johnson High School Ricky Shah Edison John P. Stevens High School NEW MEXICO Layne Bettini * Ranchos De Taos Taos High School NEW YORK Kimberly Higby Pine Bush Pine Bush Central High School Brian Kelly Campbell Hall Washingtonville High School Michael Marra Northport Northport Senior High School Kerri McNicholas East Islip East Islip High School Vanessa Saba Cherry Valley Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School Joshua Spiro Forest Hills Stuyvesant High School NORTH CAROLINA Alli Burgess Greensboro Western Guilford High School William Campbell La Grange Eastern Wayne High School OHIO Mengyuan Liu Dublin Dublin Coffman High School Aalok Modi Pickerington Pickerington High School North OKLAHOMA Ambia Cail Byars Wanette High School OREGON Kelsey Heider Eagle Point Eagle Point High School Kellianne Kleeman Klamath Falls Klamath Union High School PENNSYLVANIA Jonathan Bernstein Holland Council Rock High School South John Fentiman * York Springs Bermudian Springs High School Kelly Jones Gibsonia North Allegheny Senior High School PUERTO RICO Iliana Torres-Velez Vega Baja Lino Padron Rivera High School SOUTH CAROLINA Ji Guo Greer Riverside High School SOUTH DAKOTA Jonathan Brockhoft Winner Winner High School TENNESSEE Lucia Crenshaw * Memphis Hutchison School Brittane Osborne Newport Covenant Christian Academy Vishruth Reddy Hixson Baylor School TEXAS Vishar Amin Spring Oak Ridge High School Amy Finch Spring Klein Oak High School Antonia Helbling San Antonio Saint Mary's Hall Cheng Qian Sugar Land Saint Agnes Academy Rachel Wilkins Houston Bellaire Senior High School Katie Zerr Hondo D'Hanis High School UTAH Madison Warren South Jordan Jordan High School VERMONT Tyler Kieft Essex Junction Essex High School VIRGINIA Ryan Olson Pearisburg Giles High School WASHINGTON Gretchen Fyffe Kent Kentwood High School Julianne Seubert * Renton Eastside Catholic High School Joel Vanderhoek Lynden Lynden High School WISCONSIN Sol Kelley-Jones Madison Malcolm Shabazz High School Brett Schilke Neenah Neenah High School David Ziehr Madison Middleton High School * National winner - $20,000 scholarship All others receive $10,000 scholarship ***************************************************************************** 2005 TOYOTA COMMUNITY SCHOLARS Community Service Snapshots Following is a small sampling of community service projects performed by the 2005 class of Toyota Community Scholars (more detail can be provided upon request; student interviews can also be arranged): * At age 11, founded Kidz Voice-LA, an organization aimed at putting an end to gun violence against kids. His efforts have resulted in the banning of .50 caliber sniper rifles, as well as the reauthorization of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban in Los Angeles. Also, this scholar - along with the Los Angeles Police Department - organized a rally where 2,000 crime guns were melted down. (Theodoros Milonopoulos, Studio City, Calif.) * As a 10 year old, started Teen Love & Care (TLC) - a fund-raising arm for the Southeast's only free cancer-treatment center for children. That treatment facility - Children's Cancer Caring Center - was founded by Gould's grandmother 40 years ago. TLC has more than 100 teen volunteers and has raised over $150,000. (Harley Gould, Aventura, Fla.) * Organized Bags of Love, a group that provides comfort packages to children who are rescued from abusive homes. Bags of Love are filled with a hand-sewn blanket, new stuffed animal, books, toys and necessary toiletry items. Since inception, over 700 bags have been distributed, with another 800 slated to be complete by June. The organization boasts several hundred volunteers. (Julianne Seubert, Renton, Wash.) * An asthma victim himself, this scholar founded Friendly Breathe Easy Asthma Rooms (BEAR) to educate the public about what triggers asthma and allergies and how to determine if a living space is unsafe. Raised $1,700 that was used to convert a homeless-shelter room fraught with mold, dust mites and other allergens into an "asthma/allergy friendly" living space. He also produced a brochure that explains/advises shelters on how to create their own Friendly BEAR rooms. (John Fentiman, York Springs, Pa.) * Created a youth-driven group that raises funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital - which provides free health care to suffering children. Because of her efforts, the program has raised over $125,000 the past three years. This money is part of the more than $1.5 million raised by her entire community during the same period. This makes Minden, La., the largest donor for St. Jude of any town in the U.S. on a per-capita basis. (Emily Mourad, Minden, La.) * Founded Care for Courage, a statewide military-support program that has collected over 12,500 items for the troops (supplies and calling cards). The group, made up of more than 750 high school students, also has delivered over 300 American history education (awareness) programs to younger children, and raised money to help send over 40 kids who lost relatives on 9/11 to summer camps. (Michael Monagle, Clark, N.J.)