Procter & Gamble’s Hispanic CSR PR pledges $1.5 million to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund

CINCINNATI, OH – Procter & Gamble (P&G) and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) announced that P&G is awarding $1.5 million under the company’s Live, Learn and Thrive(TM) global cause to support HSF, the leading Hispanic organization devoted to awarding university scholarships. The grant will be provided over the next four years to support scholarships to increase participation from Hispanics in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) areas, as well as sponsoring educational outreach programs.

This contribution will help award 192, $2,500 scholarships to eligible Hispanic students nationwide in the next four years. Thanks to the support of companies like Procter & Gamble, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund has given over 90,000 scholarships to students in need worth over $250 million in the past 34 years. Two-thirds of these students were the first in their families to go to college.

“Through the Live, Learn and Thrive Scholarship program, P&G is enabling a cadre of academically talented, low income, first in family to attend college students complete an important new step in realizing the American dream. And, by focusing on STEM majors, P&G is strategically investing in future career paths destined to assure continued success and leadership of our country in this ever competitive global economy.  We salute P&G and the scholars!” said Frank D. Alvarez, HSF President and CEO.

While Hispanics are the largest ethnic minority in the United States, they unfortunately are not keeping up when it comes to educational attainment: according to HSF, Latinos have the lowest high school and college completion rates of any racial or ethnic group, registering a 23.8 percent high school dropout rate, the highest of any major racial or ethnic group (ages 16 to 24), compared to 7 percent for non-Hispanic whites. Moreover, as per data from the Census report Educational Attainment in the United States: 2008, out of the total population, only 13 percent of Hispanics 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree, as per data from the report.

In addition, data from the study, “Confronting the ‘New’ American Dilemma, Underrepresented Minorities in Engineering: A Data-Based Look at Diversity,” from the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) reveals that the number of minority students pursuing STEM degrees and careers has flattened out or even declined in recent years: out of the 6,404 doctoral degrees in engineering awarded in 2006, only 98 went to Latinos and Latinas.

Following its commitment to advance the Hispanic community, P&G has been a long-standing corporate partner of HSF for over 30 years and has donated more than $3,000,000 to help educate future Hispanic leaders. Under its global Live, Learn and Thrive cause, P&G aims to contribute to the success of Hispanic students and even make higher education a more realistic goal by helping build a pool of exceptional talent and empowering possible future employees, who will continue to enhance the company’s dedication to cater to the needs of its consumers.

“At P&G, we believe in having a workforce and business partners that reflect the markets and consumers that we serve, and to fully value and learn from all of their experiences, insights and talents so we can meaningfully improve the lives of our communities.  As part of our efforts to improve life for children and youth, we’re proud to make this Live, Learn and Thrive(TM) grant in recognition of the programs HSF delivers on behalf of Hispanic students,” said Edgar Sandoval, P&G’s General Manager, North America Marketing.

Sandoval, a former recipient of an HSF scholarship while he was pursuing his engineering degree, was inducted into the prestigious Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) Alumni Hall of Fame as the “Inspirador” (the motivator), in recognition of his personal achievements and the hard work and sacrifice made in pursuit of a college education. His scholastic success testifies to the great positive impact that an HSF scholarship can have in a student’s life.

This year’s Alumni Hall of Fame Gala took place in New York on Sept. 30th, and was hosted by Natalie Morales, NBC’s “Today” Co-Host and National Correspondent. Created in 2002, the HSF Alumni Hall of Fame honors Hispanics who demonstrate the power of higher education and highlights how attaining a college degree can change individual lives and society as a whole for the better. As an inductee, Sandoval will join a select group of Latino professionals who have been recognized, including former Surgeon General Richard Carmona, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Tony Garza and Time Warner Vice President Lisa Quiroz.

HSF’s scholarship application period is now open and will run until Feb. 28th, 2010. General application requirements include having a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and be pursuing or planning to pursue their first undergraduate or graduate program. For more information on how to apply for these scholarships, please visit www.hsf.net