WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), an organization supporting Hispanic and African-American higher education, has received a multi-year award from BB&T Corporation to support the HSF/BB&T Scholarship program.

The HSF/BB&T Scholarship Program provides 10 $5,000-scholarships, awarded annually to five Hispanic and five African-American college juniors enrolled at a four-year university.

The 2009-2010 HSF/BB&T Hispanic scholarship recipients are Rene Couttolenc, University of Georgia; Desiree Abad, High Point University; Ernie Ortiz, University of Chicago; Ana Medrano, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Crystal Pruneda, University of Tampa.

The 2009-2010 HSF/BB&T African-American scholarship recipients are Shayna Johnson, Spelman College; Carin Pinto, Emory University; Blaine Casanave, Morehouse College; Alaina Frieson, Clark Atlanta University; Crystal Barnes, Albany State University.

The students will have the opportunity to renew for their senior year. As part of the HSF/BB&T scholarship program, students also will have an opportunity to apply to BB&T’s Internship Program. The multi-year program will support a new group of college juniors selected each year to participate.

“We are proud to announce our partnership with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund to support 10 exceptional Hispanic and African-Americans college juniors,” said BB&T Multicultural Markets Manager Jorge Moller. “Our commitment to HSF and these outstanding students goes beyond traditional scholarships; we encourage recipients to apply to BB&T’s Internship Program to expand their professional capabilities while gaining experience working for BB&T.”

The HSF/BB&T Scholarship Program is designed to make a positive impact on Hispanic and African-American students’ college education and career preparedness. Applicants must reside and/or attend a college or university within BB&T’s footprint and have a business-related major.

For more specific selection criteria, students are encouraged to consult with their university’s financial aid officers or visit the HSF website at

A recent study by MPR Associates Inc., one of the nation’s leading education consulting firms, found that HSF scholarships played a significant role in helping students continue their pursuit of a college degree.

Students supported by HSF worked less hours outside of school, enabling them to focus more on their academic tasks. On average, they worked 10 hours less a week when compared with students sampled in other studies. Financial hardship is cited as the principal reason that Latinos and African-Americans discontinue their education, according to numerous studies.

“HSF is grateful for the generous award from BB&T and proud to work with BB&T to increase the number of Hispanic and African-American students pursuing their higher education degrees,” said HSF President and Chief Executive Officer Frank D. Alvarez. “We appreciate BB&T’s commitment to diversity in the workforce by supporting opportunities for Hispanics and African-Americans.”

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) is the nation’s preeminent organization primarily supporting Hispanic higher education. For more information about HSF, please visit

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