McDonald’s® Awards $25,000 in Scholarships to Local Hispanic High School Seniors

SAN DIEGO – May 28, 2009 – Five outstanding students of Hispanic descent will start college with $5,000 already paid toward their education thanks to a scholarship from the Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) of Southern California, RMHC of San Diego, the McDonald’s Operators’ Association of Southern California and the McDonald’s Operators’ Association of San Diego.

The Hispanic American Commitment to Education Resources (HACER®) scholarship is offered to high school seniors who have at least one parent of Hispanic heritage and who are eligible to attend a two- or four-year college or university with a complete course of study.

The RMHC/HACER scholarship has become one of the largest college scholarship programs for Hispanic students. Since its inception, almost 13,000 Hispanic students have been awarded more than $17.9 million in scholarships nationally.  The HACER scholarship has been offered exclusively to San Diego County residents since 1990 with nearly $800,000 awarded to date. Five scholarship recipients will be awarded a $5,000 scholarship for their first year of college.

“We had an overwhelming number of applicants, and it’s great to see so many Hispanic youth in San Diego eager to attend college,” said Ernie Sandoval, San Diego McDonald’s Owner/Operator.  “McDonald’s has a strong history of giving back to the community in areas that matter most, and we’re proud to help these students on their path to educational excellence, especially in these hard economic times.”

Applicants were evaluated based on academics, financial need, personal successes and their commitment to the community.  More than 170 high school seniors applied, and five students across San Diego County have been chosen: Debbie Cecena, Grossmont High School; Jamen R. Garcia, Monte Vista High School; Olivia Grace Ortiz-Dugan, Grossmont Middle College High School; Leobardo Resendiz, Herbert Hoover High School; and Erick Eduardo Saenz, Castle Park High School.

McDonald’s USA, LLC is the leading foodservice provider in the United States, serving a variety of wholesome foods made from quality ingredients to millions of customers every day.  More than 90 percent of McDonald’s San Diego restaurants are independently owned and operated by local franchisees.