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Grads Surprised with Employer Scholarships

Grads Surprised with Employer Scholarships

  • In the News |
  • Student Voice |
  • May 28, 2019

Charles H. Flowers High School seniors Dwalyn Bryant and Michael Akinsola won $25,000 and $10,000 scholarships respectively from the Taco Bell Foundation’s Live Más Scholarship, a program designed to help students pursue their unique passions!

Dwalyn and Michael were among about 500 students selected out of 13,000 total applicants to this year’s scholarship and were surprised with the combined $35,000 at their Taco Bell restaurant in Largo this week. Unlike other scholarships, Live Más winners are chosen based on a short video describing their passions, rather than academic merit or athletic ability.

One of just six employees nationwide to receive the highest award of $25,000, Dwalyn will use her scholarship to study biomedical health at Penn State in hopes of becoming a surgeon. After her mom was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, she knew that wanted to make an impact in the medical field. In addition to maintaining straight A’s and her job at Taco Bell, she has participated in programs with the National Institute of Health and the Army Education Outreach Program.

Since applying for the scholarship, she no longer works with Taco Bell, but the company still wanted to help her reach her goals, so they asked her to come in and “pick up her last check:" the $25,000 scholarship.

Michael will use his $10,000 scholarship to study biomedical engineering at University of Pittsburgh while enrolling in an accelerated program to receive his juris doctorate degree. He interned at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and serves as president of his school’s Christian Youth Fellowship. Michael is a Taco Bell service champion who plans to run for public office one day.

About the Live Más Scholarship:

The Taco Bell Foundation’s Live Más Scholarship is designed to help students pursue their unique passions. Unlike other scholarships, Taco Bell doesn’t choose winners based on academic merit or athletic ability. All the application requires is a 2-minute video describing what you love to do. Both employees and any young fans of the brand ages 16-24 can apply. Scholarships range from $5,000-$25,000 per student. The Taco Bell Foundation has now awarded $10.7 million total in scholarships, and is committed to awarding $21 million in scholarships by 2021.